Shape controlled nanocrystals increase the functionality of nanoparticles significantly by modifying optical, electrical and chemical properties compared to those of spherical nanocrystals. This can be used advantageously in diverse applications in optics , electronics, bio-medicine, catalysis, but only if viable self-assembly schemes using bottom-up approaches can be realized for these systems. To this end, the project Self Assembly of Shape Controlled Nanocrystals (SA-NANO) will bring breakthrough innova tions in the control and understanding of the self-assembly of rod and tetrapod shaped nanocrystals. Rods and tetrapods will be developed so as to posses a functional part and a recognition element for the purposes of self assembly in analogy to biologica l systems. As one main example, gold tips will be selectively grown on the edges of rods and tetrapods to serve as the recognition elements. These anchor points will be used in the self-assembly of these objects in solution to create rod chains and tetra pod-rod assemblies. Alignment and positioning of these objects onto pre-patterned surfaces, also prepared using self assembly, will be developed. External biases including electric and magnetic fields, as well as microfluidics, will be used to achieve ro d alignment and assembly. Theoretical modeling on self-assembly and computation of electronic and optical properties to support the experiments will be also performed. Assemblies of shape-controlled nanocrystals will reveal new collective phenomena that w ill be studied by diverse techniques including optical spectroscopy, magnetic studies, and scanning probe methods. SA-NANO will advance the self assembly of shape-controlled nanocrystals to the extent that the methods, concepts and understanding of the p rocess will be available for broad implementation in device fabrication based on nanocrystal building blocks, with clear impact for the future of nanotechnology in Europe.
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
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