Novel (multi-) functional materials and nanotechnologies are expected to lead to the major future breakthroughs in electronics, photonics and energetics. At DIFI, many activities got started in this field, aiming to discover new materials, design material properties by nanostructuring and self-assembling or develop innovative techniques for device realization.
The activity can be schematically summarized as follows:
New materials, paradigms and devices for electronics:
- Novel transition metal compound integration in devices for signal transport, storage and manipulation
- Nanostructured metal-dielectric electrodes alternative to conventional transparent conductive oxides.
New materials for plasmonics from the Infrared to the deep UV:
- Self-organized arrays of metal nanoparticles with plasmonic response tailored in the UV-NIR range, aiming at high–sensitivity spectroscopy, magneto-plasmonics and molecule sensing applications.
New materials and devices for energy production, storage and harvesting:
- Transition metal compounds and new low cost preparation techniques are studied to realize photovoltaic cells, fuel cells and thermoelectric modules.
- Broadband light-trapping in PV cells and photonic devices is addressed by self-organized bio-mimetic nanopatterning .
- Wind Energy Harvesting with Fluttering devices is explored in order to achieve mW electric power generation for Wireless Integrated Network Sensors WINS.