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UVTECH — Result In Brief

Project ID: 13855
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Ireland

Nanocrystals for smart materials

Nanotechnology-based materials are driving the design, development and production of products in emerging markets from automotives to nano-electronics.
Nanocrystals for smart materials
The 'UV assisted technologies for multifunctional materials production' (UVTECH) project hoped to contribute to European knowledge on innovative processing techniques. The aim was to enable European competitive and sustainable production of new nanocrystal-based smart materials seen as drivers for new-generation applications and devices.

The EU-funded team's main goal was to offer a novel materials-processing technology on the strength of increasing knowledge and availability of chemically synthesised and size-controlled nanoparticles. The originality of the approach lay in combining the above with photoprocessing and a view to facilitating production of new materials systems at low temperatures.

UVTECH comprised a research team, precursor materials supplier, research university, two national research institutes, a consulting company and multinational end-users. The consortium's interdisciplinary character was further enhanced by its collaboration with a leading European process equipment supplier.

Aiming to achieve one-step co-deposition of nanoparticles in host matrices, researchers attempted to expand the current range of layer processing platforms and introduce innovative multilayer multifunctional materials. By enabling technology for controlled nanomaterial integration, UVTECH expected to deliver the means for a wide variety of applications. These would favour increased production volume and new machinery and methods for advanced devices.

However, low nanoparticle density presented an obstacle to realising this vision. Efforts to remedy this problem were unsuccessful, but other study efforts indicated that a vapour phase process may help to achieve a functional multilayer structure in the future.

Among other achievements, project partners developed a novel silicon and platinum nanocrystal synthesis route and demonstrated photo-enhanced deposition of dielectrics (electrical insulators) at low temperatures.

Despite problems being encountered in achieving its ultimate goal, UVTECH provided proof of concept and initial validation of a new route for inorganic-based nanocrystal/host matrix material systems and multilayer composition.

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