Nanotechnologies & New Materials
Nanotech increasingly touches our lives, across IT, medicine, transport and energy. Tailoring the structures of materials at tiny scales makes them stronger, lighter and more reactive. Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, is billed as tomorrow’s wonder material – dominating everything from flexible, wearable transparent electronics to high performance computing.
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Stories in Nanotech & Materials
“Microscopic Lego” for scientists to develop materials of tomorrow
Atom-scale building blocks that have been compared to microscopic Lego are allowing researchers to play with the properties of common materials, and the possibilities are so great that it could keep scientists busy for the next 50 years
Research projects in this field
The Graphene Flagship Project is one of the EU main research lines. It aims at unveiling and exploiting the properties of graphene, a material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms. Currently, graphene is the lightest and thinnest material known to humankind. For its unique characteristics and the potential to disclose new, exciting horizons in the field of materials science, graphene was labelled “the wonder material”.
The goal of the ARTIMATTER project is to create new materials by exploiting the properties of graphene. The idea is to stack graphene on top of comparably thin layers of different atoms. Such combinations of grapheme with other atom-scale layers of matter will modify the properties of the latters, giving birth to new types of materials. This investigation line is expected to significantly innovate materials science.
The NANODRIVE project investigates polymeric self-assembling units as building blocks, which allow for an easy and large-scale fabrication of complex materials without the need for cumbersome synthesis techniques.
The goal of the nuClock project is to achieve the most accurate time measurement ever. To this goal, scientists try to develop a new kind of atomic clock. Whereas other atomic clocks are based on the motion of electrons in atoms, the one targeted by nuClock will make use of the nucleus of Thorium-229. Applications of such a precise clock could be the fields of navigation satellites, network synchronisation and astronomical research.
The LiNaBioFluid project aims at creating biomimetic surfaces with particular wetting properties. The study is inspired by the integuments or behinds of certain animals such as bark bugs and lizards. The objective of LiNaBioFluid is to modify the surfaces' properties using lasers. The results are expected to provide new insights and applications in the fields of friction reduction and lubrificants.