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Molecular Host Templates for Nanoelectronic Functional Guests

Final Report Summary - TEMPLATES (Molecular Host Templates for Nanoelectronic Functional Guests)

The TEMPLATES project has been concerned with the construction of nanoporous molecular host templates that can accommodate guest molecules, with a view to developing new materials and self-assembly concepts that could find use in nanoelectronics and sensing. The project was specifically designed to maximise synergy between the host institution’s core expertise in the study of self-assembled monolayers and the fellow’s strong competencies in electrochemistry and electrochemical scanning probe microscopy. The main achievements can be summarised as follows:

 From the scientific point of view, we have developed and demonstrated strategies for self-assembly at the solid-liquid interface under electrochemical conditions leading to structures that can be tuned from open pores over filled pores to 3-dimensional structures. Especially self-assembly in three dimensions under electrochemical control is a clear advancement beyond the state of the art in the field. In cooperation with the group of Prof. Thomas Greber (Universität Zürich/CH), the fellow has also discovered a unique electrochemical way to change the nanotexture of a hexagonal boron nitride monolayer on rhodium, which can again be exploited as a template for molecular self-assembly.
 From the transfer-of-knowledge point of view, both the host institution and the fellow have benefited strongly from the cooperation. The fellow is official co-promoter of two PhD theses that are topically related to the TEMPLATES project and are foreseen to be completed in the next few years.
 From the career advancement point of view, the fellow has moved on to a 6-year position (“Habilitationsstelle”) at the Vienna University of Technology where he is further developing an independent research portfolio, but keeps strong ties with the host institution of the Marie Curie project as an associated research fellow. Even though the TEMPLATES project had to be terminated early because of this move, it is clear that the project has contributed to the path towards a stable and independent faculty position.

In summary, the TEMPLATES project has furthered the knowledge base concerning electrochemically controlled molecular self-assembly, has ensured substantial transfer of knowledge in this area at the host institution and beyond, and has advanced the fellow’s research career towards an independent faculty position.