Synthesis and Structure of Molecule-Based Nanostructures
Understanding how the properties of size-constrained molecular systems change in going from the atomic scale to the corresponding infinite solids is a unifying theme of research area C. Towards this aim, project "C1: Synthesis and Structure of Molecule-based Nanostructures" addresses new homologous series of metalloid-, semiconductor-type-, and coordination clusters. Furthermore, controlled arrangements of (such) molecular nanostructures to form ordered 3D frameworks are investigated. In addition to synthesis, our studies aim at a fundamental understanding of the structure and bonding as well as at an evaluation of specific properties and functions.
Building on Karlsruhe strengths in the synthesis and structural characterization of molecular clusters - some of the largest known metalloid and semiconductor clusters have been prepared in Karlsruhe -, we will focus on structure-property/function relationships (see projects C1.1: Synthesis and Characterization of Nanosized Coinage Metal Clusters and C1.3: Synthesis and Structural Characterization of Metalloid Al and Ga Clusters). This still requires development of specific synthetic methods. We aim at controlled adjustment of the cluster-core composition and specific modification of the ligand shell in order to probe and understand the size-dependence of, for instance, cooperative magnetism and photoluminescence (see projects C1.2: Synthesis and Characterization of Molecular Nanomagnets and C1.5: Lanthanide Clusters for Potential Photonic and Magnetic Applications). In this context, switchable magnetic, optical or structural/mechanical functions are of particular interest.
Nanoscale Hollow Spheres
Nanoscale hollow spheres are prepared via microemulsion techniques – allowing for wide flexibility regarding composition and size (see project C1.4: Nanoscale Hollow Spheres). These hollow spheres are used as nanocontainers with various ingredients encapsulated, as high-surface sensors as well as for gas sorption and separation.
Cluster Networks and Porous Structures
Molecular clusters and nanoscale hollow spheres will be used as building blocks to generate ordered porous materials and corresponding 3D arrangements for gas sorption and storage, luminescent or magnetic sensors as well as for bio-labeling and drug delivery (see projects C1.2: Synthesis and Characterization of Molecular Nanomagnets, C1.4: Nanoscale Hollow Spheres, and C1.5: Lanthanide Clusters for Potential Photonic and Magnetic Applications).