In a future society with limited access to fossil fuels, technologies for efficient on demand delivery of renewable energy are highly desirable. In this regard, methods that allow for solar energy storage and on demand solar driven power generation are particularly relevant since the sun is the most abundant energy source. Molecular photoswitches so-called molecular solar thermal storage systems can capture solar energy and release it on demand in an emission free closed energy cycle. The objective of the project is to improve and extend the concept of molecular solar thermal energy storage towards future applications.

most: Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage and Conversion

By decreasing the size of metal particles down to the nanoscale, more atoms are exposed to the crystalline facets (larger surface area), which is encompassed by their rearrangement in restrained geometrical space. We employ a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches as well as modern synthesis techniques such as flow chemistry to prepare complex shaped nanoparticles for use in sensing and catalysis applications. 

Selective Nano-Scale Functionalisation

The utmost degree of miniaturization of electronic components is the realization of single molecule electronic components. The limiting factor in fabrication of single molecule electronic devices is the electrode structure needed for contacting individual molecules, more specifically conducting leads separated by a few nanometers, long enough to be contacted by conventional methods. Since the nanogap between the electrodes is of the size of molecule, fabrication of these structures cannot be done by conventional lithography. New ideas are required to overcome the challenge of bridging the gap between the molecular length scale (1-2 nm) and the length scale accessible by top down lithographic techniques (20-30 nm). This project will focus on the development of new ways to contact single molecules based on a solution based self-assembly approach.