Current application areas
Sustaining the information society
Nanotechnology is already having an impact on products as diverse as novel foods, medical devices, chemical coatings, personal health testing kits, sensors for security systems, water purification units for manned space craft, displays for hand-held computer games, and high-resolution cinema screens.
The world market for nanoelectronics is worth hundreds of billions of euro and this industry is the driving force behind the current development of nanotechnology. Nanoelectronics will create computers and transistors with much greater power for use in telephones, cars, domestic appliances and the multitude of other consumer and industrial applications currently microprocessor-controlled.
Improving public health
Nanoelectronics Future information processing devices may possibly require a paradigm shift in the way calculations are made. Under the motto ‘how to make use of the intrinsic properties of molecules for doing calculations’, which is opposed to current thinking of ‘how to mimic transistors with molecules’, the BUN project is synthesising and studying designer molecules to be used as future mono-molecular devices.
Computing with a molecule
Developing intelligent materials
These combinations will provide biosensors, biomaterials and new breeds of biochips for treating life-threatening conditions, including cancer and heart disease. Such bioengineered devices, in the form of body implants, will deliver smart drugs or carry new cells to repair damaged tissue.
Learning from nature
Nanoelectronic devices for computer chips need to be fabricated in a reliable and costeffective way. The BIOAND project will provide a better understanding of the technology involved, and will develop the tools required for making molecular electronic components by selfassembly; a concept that is commonly employed in nature but which is very rarely used in engineering procedures.
The fabrication of nanostructures will yield materials with new and improved properties for use in solar panels, anti-corrosion coatings, tougher and harder cutting tools, photocatalytic air purifiers, longer-lasting medical devices, chemical catalysts, and for the transport industry. In addition, there will be new materials for optical, electronic and energy storage applications and products.