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NANOMESH — Result In Brief

Project ID: 13817
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Switzerland

Nanoscience sweetened with honeycomb mesh material

Advances in nanoscience continue to drive development of novel applications in fields from consumer devices to medical therapeutics. Now, a new nanostructure comes to further strengthen the potential for enhancing quality of life.
Nanoscience sweetened with honeycomb mesh material
Research has for some time been focused on achieving self-assembly in nanostructures for use in high-tech applications. The recently discovered nanomesh brings efforts in this direction one step closer. The new material has a minute honeycomb pattern that forms a strong coating on a particular metal surface. The hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) nanostructure self-assembles into a mesh-like structure whose size and robust properties render it an exciting new candidate for future nanotechnologies and scaffolding needs.

The 'Boron nitride nanomesh as a scaffold for nanocatalysts, nanomagnets and functional surfaces' (Nanomesh) project's main objectives were to understand the material's self-assembly processes and discover how its mesh parameters could be controlled. The EU-funded, nine-member consortium also aimed to investigate the feasibility of its use for producing nanocatalysts, nanomagnets and functionalised surfaces.

The team members managed to investigate, evaluate and in some instances even demonstrate the promising applications of nanomesh. Study results offer a clear understanding of the nanomesh films and enhanced understanding of its decay and self-assembly mechanisms. Partners successfully identified and tested alternative precursors and substrates that could be used for mass production of the novel material. The ability of the pores to functionally trap organic molecules was fully established, gaining attention in the area of biotech applications.

The single, buckled h-BN monolayer structure, although unsuccessfully applied to electronic devices, was shown to be stable under conditions of vacuum, air, some liquids and temperatures up to 796oC. This development has sparked interest fields not originally anticipated.

Nanomesh partners shared project activities and results at national and international conferences, published scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and contributed a relevant Wikipedia entry. The partners have succeeded in making the material well known to the nano and materials-science communities.

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