Research program

The Collaborative Research Center „Hierarchical Structure Formation and Function of Organic-Inorganic Nanosystems“ (SFB 569) has its focus on nanoscience with its characteristic interdisciplinary approach. Specifically, within the SFB 569 this is realized by the close cooperation between Chemistry and Physics. The scientific goals of the SFB 569 are best explained by referring to its title. A significant aspect is still the preparation of nanostructures with a clear emphasis, however, on bottom-up procedures based on the selforganization of block-copolymers, colloids or macromolecules including the exploitation of various templates and scaffolds. At this point, interactions of different subsystems play a decisive role. In general, these interactions exhibit different strengths and, thus, form a hierarchy resulting in a corresponding hierarchical structure formation. Consequently, hierarchical means the hierarchy of interaction potentials as well as of the resulting length and time scales.

For the formation of nanostructures, atomic and molecular building blocks are used to compose nanocomponents, which then are brought into well-defined arrangements.

New physical and chemical functions of materials or systems are accomplished by the finite size of the objects or their interactions on the nanoscale. By combining inorganic components and solids with molecular building blocks, the functionalities of metals or semiconductors are linked to processes of selforganization. The organic-inorganic-hybrids used for this purpose are either formed by selectively loading the core of micelles/colloids with inorganic precursors or depositing organic building blocks onto inorganic substrates serving as device platform.

Even though the selforganization of organic-inorganic hybrids is characteristic for the work of the SFB 569, its emphasis and main goal is on functions. These functions, in turn, gain their physical and chemical properties from the restriction of the involved structures on the nanoscale. Here, “functions” include novel electronic, optical, magnetic and mechanical properties as well as the structure formation itself.

To arrive at this goal, the research concept relies on: (a) a strong chemical synthetic component to build up nanoobjects and macromolecular functional units, (b) a focus on scanning probe microscopies, (c) a combination of approaches from solid state and surface sciences with molecular concepts, (d) an interrelation between selforganization processes and different microlithographies and (e) inclusion of functional building blocks and methods from molecular biology.