Lorentz Center - Chemistry for physicists from 10 Oct 2005 through 14 Oct 2005
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    Chemistry for physicists
    from 10 Oct 2005 through 14 Oct 2005




            Chemistry of inorganic nanomaterials: Nanowires and nanoclusters


Erik Bakkers

Philips Research Laboratories

- Synthesis of semiconducting nanowires via the VLS (vapor-liquid-solid) mechanism. The mechanism and the techniques, laser-ablation and MOVPE, will be discussed. It will be shown that it is important to understand the growth dynamics in order to obtain structural and electrical control of the material.
- Wet-chemical synthesis of semiconducting colloidal quantum dots. Strongly quantized dots can be prepared of most of the group II-VI, III-V and IV semiconductors. The crucial role of the organic ligands will be discussed.
- Crystallographic defects, electrical dopants and surface atoms both have an effect on the optical and electrical properties of wires and dots. Techniques for structural, chemical, optical and electrical characterization will be presented to gain insight into the ‘defect’ chemistry of these materials.






Gerard Canters

Gorlaeus Laboratorium, Universiteit Leiden


-    Nature likes to repeat its successes: many cellular components consist of repeating units or are even polymers: nucleic acids, proteins, saccharides, lipids


-    proteins are self-folding units

     - enzymology

     - properties can be tuned by engineering, e.g.,

        - for immobilization or

        - for conduction


-    biological electron transfer vs. conduction

     - redox potential/thermodynamic compensation

     - electronic coupling

     - reorganization energy


-    imaging of immobilized proteins




-    detection of biological redox processes

     - electrochemistry

     - fluorescence labeling

     - electron self exchange




            Molecular materials for nanoelectronics


Kees Hummelen

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen


Preparation material: “Organic Chemistry, structure and function”, fourth edition, by K.P.C. Vollhardt and N.E.Schore, Freeman, N.Y. 2003. ISBN 0-7167-4374-4

Chapters 11, 12, 14, 15. (This is the absolute minimum. If the student does not understand what these chapters are about, he or she will have to read one or more of the preceding chapters...)


Contents of the course:

The students are introduced to the most important classes of molecular materials, used in molecular (nano)electronics. What are their (mostly opto-electronic) properties, and why. How can we tune certain properties, like color, ionization potential, electron affinity, processability, miscibility, charge carrier mobility, solid state morphology, etc. etc. What are the issues concerning stability, purity, handling, and storage. I will also provide a kind of dictionary chemistry/physics to improve communication between scientists from the different disciplines, active in the field of nanoscience. 

The course has been designed for (top)master students Nanoscience at the University of Groningen. The usual audience is a mix of chemistry and physics students.






Daniel Lincot,

Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris


-     Survey of solvants and solution chemistry for electrochemistry: from water to ionic liquids

-     The electrochemical interface

-     Classes of electrochemical reactions at interfaces

-     Prediction of electrochemical behaviour

-     Reactions involving the transfer of matter at interfaces: electrochemical growth or electrochemical etching

-    Photoelectrochemistry at semiconductor electrodes

-    Selected case examples including electrochemical nanotechnologies and electrochemistry of/for advanced materials and applications




Chemical Aspects of Carbon Nanotube Research


Siegmar Roth,

Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart


Carbon nanotubes are appealing toys for physicists (single electron effects, electron confinement, one-dimensional conductors, Luttinger liquid, conductance quantization, ballistic transport, ...). But for successful experiments the investigator has to draw on the know-how of chemists.  The lecture will use carbon nanotubes to discuss such topics as: chemical vapor deposition, catalysis, cracking of hydrocarbons, suspensions using tensides, polymerisation, graphite oxidation, mechanochemistry and sonochemistry, thermogravimetric analysis, chromatography, physisorption and chemisorption, conjugated double bonds, aromaticity, chirality and optical activity ...)




Thermodynamics and Kinetic of self-assembly


Daniël Vanmaekelbergh

Debeye Instituut, Universiteit Utrecht


Atoms, molecules and colloidal (nano)crystals in the gas- or solution phase can spontaneously form extended two- and three-dimensional solid structures. In most cases, the driving forces for self-assembly are molecular interactions, i.e. electrostatic interactions, London forces and hydrogen bonds.  In such cases, minimization of the enthalpy is most important in the drive towards minimum free energy. Molecular self-assembly is essential in the structure and function of any biological system. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional assemblies of molecules, semiconductor- and magnetic nanocrystals have optical, electrical and magnetic properties which depend on the properties of the building blocks and the strength of their interaction. Chemists and material scientists aim to use self-assembly as a tool to prepare tunable opto-electrical and magnetic materials.  

In this course, I will review the nature and the strength of the molecular interactions between the building blocks, i.e. the chemistry. This will be followed by a thermodynamic evaluation of self-assembly. In the practice of self-assembly, kinetic aspects may also be important.  Finally, examples of self-assembled structures (molecular monolayers, assemblies of semiconductor and magnetic nanocrystals) will be discussed.