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Molecule-based and self-assembled materials (165.093)


The lecture course (3 ECTS) takes place in Summer semesters and is embedded within the following curricula of the Faculty of Technical Chemistry of the Vienna University of Technology: 

  • 066 434 Materials Sciences 

  • 066 490 Technical Chemistry

  • 066 493 Technical Chemistry - Materials Chemistry

  • 066 658 Chemistry und Technology of Materials

Subject of the course

The first part of this Lecture will introduce the concept of molecular recognition, overview major forces of molecular self-assembly and cover several important historical milestones of the field such as the recent Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016. We will cover many textbook examples of self-assembled systems including molecular (crown ethers, cyclodextrine and calixarenes)  as well as biological (proteins, DNA) systems and slowly go up in complexity talking about rotaxanes and catenanes as precursors for the topic of molecular machines. Following examples will present self-assembled systems of various dimensionalities: 0D (micelles, fullerenes), 1D (carbon nanotubes), 2D (self-assembled monolayers, Langmuir-Blodgett films, graphene) and 3D (block copolymers, liquid crystals). We will spend much time trying to classify and sort out non-covalent interactions (e.g. van der Waals forces) that are very important in the world of molecular self-assembly. At the end of this first part, we will look at the self-assembly of inorganic nanoparticles and talk about metal-organic frameworks. The course will introduce you to a number of practical examples where molecular self-assembly made its way to applications and devices.

The second part of the Lecture will introduce you to various photoactive materials such as photovoltaics (PV), light-emitting diodes (LED), lasers, photocatalysts and phosphors. The aim is to develop your understanding of the materials design and materials requirements for each of these applications.  We will start by discussing the nature of the light-to-matter interactions and sort out the concepts or color, transparency, and opaqueness, absorption and reflectance, refraction and birefringence to understand the principles and limitations of various photoactive materials. We will further link this knowledge with the band theory of solid-state materials and review the concept of metals, semiconductors and insulators. Particular focus will be devoted to history, basic principles, materials, limitations and perspectives of solar cells, photocatalysis and light-emitting diodes. 


Further information and course schedule can be found using TISS and TU Wel platforms. Course number 165.093.

To participate in the course, online TISS registration is required.

If not possible for you or you are not a TU Vienna student - email Dr. Alexey Cherevan.



Links to download the slides from the last semester: [Part1A], [Part1B], [Part2] (password protected)

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