Different multifunctional materials by design and their architecture can be switched to a different state or configuration at different length scales by means of an external stimulus. In STAG, we explore groups of organic molecular, supramolecular and polymeric materials that can be blended with polymers to add specific sensing capability to a thin film. The target will be to devise new functional systems, which are responsive to exposure to a temperature above a threshold value and/or exposure to UV light.
Chemical design will be synergically used together with nanotechnology processing based on bottom-up approaches to achieve specific patterns whose variations in size, shape, motion and local response of an anisotropic property (optical, electrical, magnetic) will indicate the time of exposure of the system to the external perturbation agent. Different paradigms for reading the exposure time will explored based on phenomena such as nanostructuring, emergence of correlation length scales, and cooperativity. These new materials together with the technology that will be developed could form the basis for a novel class of tags and storage media where digital information at high density will be coupled to sensing functionality to record the history of ambient exposure of products. Socio-economical impact of this class of materials in the long term is enormous, offering completely new capability to packaging, especially for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and for their use in health, monitoring, anticounterfaction, safety and security.
- 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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