The research on nanostructured materials concentrates on the structure and properties of materials, which are characterized by typical dimensions of the structural units in the order of a few nanometers. Such structures with a high fraction of interfaces (surfaces, grain boundaries and phase boundaries) can be obtained in different morphologies: nanoparticles, thin films and bulk nanomaterials. A broad range of synthesis equipment, such as inert gas condensation (IGC), chemical vapor synthesis (CVS), nebulized spray pyrolysis (NSP), cluster deposition system, sputtering, molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), atomic layer deposition (ALD), pulsed laser deposition (PLD), is readily available to our researchers. For bulk nanostructured materials, we use extensively high-pressure torsion (HPT) as well as a range of consolidation and sintering techniques.
All of our research on nanostructured materials, independent of their particular morphology, can be categorized into two distinct groups: (1) materials whose properties are modified by the structural design of their internal interfaces leading to tailored properties and (2) materials whose properties can be fully reversibly modified by means of external fields leading to tunable properties. As shown in the figure 1 below, two groups of interfaces are thus created: structural and charged interfaces, for tailored and tunable properties, respectively. Based on our research on tunable properties of nanostructured materials, we have developed an approach for printed electronics using inorganic semiconductors and gating via a solid electrolyte.
Figure 1: Summary of solid-solid, solid-liquid, and solid-gaseous interfaces that are studied within the
research unit 'Nanostructured Materials' with the goal to design functionalities of nanomaterials.