Molecular Materials and Nanosystems

The Molecular Materials and Nanosystems Group was established in 2003 and is an interdepartmental research group at the TU/e active in the Department of Applied Physics and Chemistry. It brings together researchers from these two fields and aims at establishing a coherent research program on the physics and chemistry of nanostructured materials and nano-sized organic and inorganic molecular systems.

The research objective is to investigate and develop molecules, macromolecules and (nano)structured materials with tailored physical properties. The tunability of the electronic, magnetic and optical properties may lead to future applications in advanced technological devices such as transistors, light-emitting diodes, photovoltaic cells and memories. The interest in these functional molecular materials and nanosystems is driven by the scientific challenge in understanding the underlying mechanisms of physical phenomena in systems of reduced dimensionality down to the molecular level. A wide range of subjects and techniques are used to accomplish these goals.

The main subjects of interest include:

• The synthesis and electro-optical characterization of materials for use in (mainly) organic solar cells,
• The design, fabrication and measurement of organic electronic devices such as solar cells, memories, transistors and ratchets,
• Advanced scanning probe microscopy to study both single molecules and operational devices,
• Ab-initio, Monte Carlo and drift-diffusion modeling.

Our research focuses on designing and exploring new ideas and concepts for functional p-conjugated molecules, macromolecules, nanostructures, and materials that may find application in advanced technological applications such as transistors, data storage, light-emitting diodes and photovoltaic cells. In addition to these intriguing future applications in the area of electrical, optical and magnetic devices, these molecules and their assemblies pose new challenges to chemistry and physics in which miniaturization of devices to a nanoscopic and possibly molecular level is an appealing goal
In our research we combine synthetic organic and polymer chemistry with advanced optical spectroscopy, electrochemistry, electron spin resonance, morphological characterization and the preparation of prototype devices to accomplish these goals. In exploring new functional materials we work along the line molecule-macromolecule-material-device with the idea that ultimately control on every length scale and every interface is required to reach the intrinsic limits of the special properties of functional molecular and polymer materials.