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Molecular Host Templates for Nanoelectronic Functional Guests

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Self-assembling 3D nanostructures

Until recently, the field of self-assembled molecular complexes has focused largely on monolayers. EU-funded scientists demonstrated controlled assembly of complex 3D structures for future nanodevices.

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Self-assembly of molecules due to attractive forces among subunits is a phenomenon seen often in nature. Some prime examples include the cellular phospholipid membrane and the complex 3D folding of proteins. Scientifically tailored molecular architectures have enabled the study of interfacial interactions, structure–function relationships and phenomena that are important to numerous fields. EU-funded scientists advanced the state of the art with electrochemically controlled molecular self-assembly of three-dimensional architectures within the context of the project 'Molecular host templates for nanoelectronic functional guests' (TEMPLATES). Exploiting electrified solid–liquid interfaces, scientists created structures including open pores, filled pores and more complex architectures. Hexagonal boron nitride monolayers grown on transition metal substrates such as rhodium have gained increasing attention as potential templates for use in nanodevices. The project developed a unique control mechanism enabling a change in monolayer nanostructure that could serve as a template for molecular self-assembly in nanoelectronics and sensing devices. In addition to scientific outcomes, TEMPLATES was a key factor in the successful launch of the research fellow’s career. He is now developing an independent line of research in a six year position at the Vienna University of Technology. Helping molecular constituents come together to form novel nanostructures for nanodevices is the most promising bottom-up fabrication approach around. TEMPLATES scientists advanced current understanding and capabilities with demonstration of electrochemically controlled self-assembly of complex 3D architectures.


Molecular, self-assembly, electrochemically controlled, 3D, boron nitride, monolayers, templates, nanodevices

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