Future Materials from Nano-Building Blocks

Assembly of functional nanoarchitectures, in the same way that children play with building blocks, is one of the dreams of nanotechnology. We are investigating new fabrication procedures for future electronic/energy materials using solution-based bottom-up assembly of functional nanoblocks. The key requirement for such a building-block approach is to create functional nanoblocks with advanced functionalities such as conducting, dielectric, and magnetic properties. In designing new functional materials, we focus on two-dimensional (2D) nanosheets. 2D nanosheets with atomic or molecular thickness have been emerging as important new materials that may impact future devices. In an effort to exploring new functionalities, 2D inorganic nanosheets are important research targets to be pursued because of their structural diversity and electronic properties. We are working on the creation of 2D inorganic nanosheets and the exploration of their novel functionalities in electronic/energy applications.



2D Inorganic Nanosheets: New Flatland to Graphene & beyond?

2D nanosheets encompassing a broad range of novel electronic, magnetic, optical and thermal properties have attracted great interests over the past decade, promising the development of next-generation multifunctional devices. The remarkable properties of graphene have opened up new possibilities of exploring 2D inorganic nanosheets, which offer functional flexibility, new properties, and novel applications. We are working on materials design and tailored synthesis of 2D inorganic nanosheets with novel functionalities.



New Artificial Materials Design Using 2D Nanosheets

An attractive aspect of 2D inorganic nanosheets is that various nanostructures can be fabricated using them as 2D building blocks in solution. We aim at developing new chemical processes for artificial construction of highly ordered 2D nanoarchitectures, e.g., multilayer, superlattice assemblies, composed of nanosheets and foreign functional modules. Through this unprecedented approach, we will attempt to develop innovative functionalities by making hetero-assembly between different nanosheets/modules, which is nearly impossible for current processes.



Electronic/Energy Materials from 2D Nanosheets

New functionalities or nanodevices may be designed through the selection of 2D nanosheets and combining other functional materials, and precise control over their arrangement at the molecular scale. Recently, we utilized 2D nanosheets as building blocks in the LEGO-like assembly, and successfully developed various functional nanodevices such as all nanosheet FETs, high-density capacitors, artificial ferroelectrics/multiferroics, spinelectronic devices, Li-ion batteries/solar cells, actuator crystals, etc. Solution processes for artificial construction of precisely controlled nanostructures/interfaces will be developed into a new technique for materials design. Advanced functionalities will be pursued by designing a cooperative interaction between 2D nanosheets and various functional modules. Our new recipe could offer the next big change in electronic and energy/environmental fields in the coming decades.


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