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Preparation of multifunctional nanocomposite thin films made of nanosized building blocks

Contact person: Tobias Preller

The continuous desire for smaller and more efficient electronical devices evokes an inevitable necessity for materials with specialized properties. Besides optimized high performance materials with a complex composition, multifunctional composites are of increased significance. Merging a variety of nanosized materials in one composite leads to combined properties of the respective particles or enables the generation of utterly new characteristics, which holds a huge potential for technical improvements. Currently, Exchange-Spring magnets, permanent magnets with high magnetization made of hard and soft magnetic materials as well as Multiferroics, which comprise ferroelectric and superparamagnetic properties have been realized.
As an alternative to the currently complex manufacturing processes of those composite materials, the combination of pre-fabricated building blocks including the specific selection of materials with tailored characteristics is attempted. Thereby, nanoparticulate building blocks are synthesized with particle sizes of below 20 nm. Frequently used materials are alumina Al2O3, barium titanate BaTiO3, iron oxide FexOy, iron platinum FePt, titania TiO2 and zirconia ZrO2.
The avoidance of agglomeration processes in the nanoparticulate medium in order to create homogenous composites with uniformly distributed nanoparticles of various materials is a crucial challenge. For the deposition of the particles wet processing techniques are used, which lead to the desired multifunctional thin films (Fig.1, Fig.2).
 

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Figure 1: Schematic illustration of randomly assembled nanoparticular building blocks (yellow and blue) in a nanocomposite thin film.
 

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Figure 2: The TEM image of a nanocomposite thin film shows the fine distribution of two different components.
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the branch Nanomaterials, the preparation of those nanocomposites is determined using pre-fabricated nanoparticles in a three-step approach. Compared to complex manufacturing methods such as the in-situ synthesis, where various materials are combined on the atomic level, the novel approach enables a high control over the product morphology and the selection of individual phases of the nanoparticulate building blocks, while avoiding undesired side products.


Team Members

Current Projects
Synthesis and processing of tailored AZO nanocrystals more

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Finished Projects
Process technology of the synthesis of metal oxide nanoparticles by nonaqueous sol gel methods more

Biocompatible iron-oxide nanoparticles for the in-situ magnetic separation of bioproducts more

Small-Molecule Stabilization of ITO Nanoparticles more

AiF – CleanCoat: Development of transparent, photocatalytically active coatings on polymer substrates with long-term stability more

Protein purification with functionalized magnetic nanoparticles more