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GSOMEN — Result In Brief

Project ID: 1594
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Italy

The rise of the nanocluster

So small, yet with huge implications on industry, the nanocluster holds enormous promise in enabling new technologies and giving birth to new applications.
The rise of the nanocluster
Nanotechnology is proving to be the next 'industrial revolution' that combines technology, science and industry to create exciting new applications and products. Within this field, metal nanoclusters are a collection of nanoparticles that are 10-100 nm in diameter and can be used in electronics and numerous other applications.

The EU-funded project 'Growth and supra-organization of transition and noble metal nanoclusters' (Gsomen) has worked on the growth and nucleation of specific nanoclusters. Researchers looked at how nanoparticles organise themselves in one-dimensional, two-dimensional and three-dimensional structures.

The project focused on bare metal nanostructures, coated metal nanoclusters and noble metal nanoclusters. It studied how they are formed and deposited on an oxide surface in order to understand their exact mechanisms and have more control over them. In addition, advances in computer hardware, synchrotron-related techniques and dynamic processes overall contributed to making the study of nanoclusters more feasible.

This allowed the project team to study the general structure of nanoclusters, nanoparticle-particle interactions and basic metal support, eventually leading to a host of new experiments and applications. Nanopatterning techniques, often involving novel ultra-thin oxide films, are also set to benefit from the results of this project.

In short, Gsomen developed new characterisation tools and protocols to obtain realistic images of a variety of nanocluster systems with disparate sizes, shapes and morphologies. By simulating the structure, growth and properties of metal nanoclusters in various ways, the project managed to take nanocluster research to a new level.

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