The nanomaterials and nanotechnology research unit is dedicated to the elaboration of advanced materials controlled down to the atomic scale. The capabilities of growing materials with an atomically-controlled shape, an accurate chemical composition and narrowly dispersed size allows to elaborate macroscopic materials with unprecedented mechanical, optical, chemical, electrical and biological properties.
To achieve such properties, the unit uses advanced fabrication processing with sub-atmospheric deposition, focused ion beam patterning and advanced electrochemical processing. These processes are clean-technologies oriented and easily scalable for industrial manufacturing.
With those complementary processes, 3D nanostructures with complex shapes (core/shell, nanowires, nanotubes etc.) are fabricated or modified with precise nano-scale manufacturing using a very broad range of process temperature (from ambient to 1000°C). This allows the advanced nanomodification of any kind of substrate material (from organic polymers to inorganic materials).
The use of well-characterised plasma assistance for sub-atmospheric chemical vapour deposition (down to the atomic layer) enhances the versatility of selected precursors (from metalorganic liquids to standard reactive gas). This leads to a large nanomaterials portfolio with very novel and effective properties (piezoelectricity, thermoelectricity, highly conductive, catalytic efficiency, thermal conductivity, multi-phase nanomaterials).
Our technical and process competencies may be implemented to specific industrial innovations via the development of advanced nanostructures for:
The unit also deals with long-term research topics dedicated to:
Research projects that will start in 2010 are based on the fabrication of advanced green fillers for polymers.
In 2011, advanced biomedical materials, advanced nanostructures for water treatment, complex multi-phase fillers, embedded energy scavengers shall be launched.