Nanotechnology is a new paradigm where human capability is extended to manipulate, control and manufacture matter with atomic and molecular precision (10 -9 meter). In order to achieve the capability to control nature at nanometer dimensions, we must develop our understanding on the behavior and phenomena of matter at such level, which is the scope of nanaoscience.
This center is the first center on nanoscience and nanotechnology in Thailand with the purpose to help lay down necessary infrastructure for new generation nano-scientists.
Nanotechnology has a multidisciplinaries nature that requires close collaboration between various disciplinary of science ranging from physics, and mathematics to chemistry and biology.
NanoCenter is exploring several forefront research topics that are both of academic and commercial interest. Our strategy is to transform our skills and knowledge from traditional sciences into nanoscience and nanotechnology on a smooth and firm basis. Research topics performed at NanoCenter can be categorised into 9 groups as follows:
Molecular electronics and photonics
A major objective of this research category is to develop electronic devices and circuits based on organic materials. Organic materials such as conjugated polymers and oligomers are of great interest to the electronics industry nowadays since these materials exhibit optical and electronic properties that can be engineered from the molecular level. Our group is interested in the photoluminescence and electroluminescence phenomena of such materials, especially for the making of organic light-emitting device (OLED). An interdisciplinary research approach will be taken among polymer chemists (to synthesize the new organic materials), physicists (to be able to understand the electroluminescence phenomena) and electrical engineers (to optimize the device performance.)
This research topic is developing into full collaborative research. The work is combined computational and experimental. On the experimental side, thin film of D-pi-A polymers has been synthesized and prepared using our LB trough. On the computational side, we are studying self-assembly and self-organisation process of the molecules. Quantum mechanics methods are employed to study pi-pi interactions in the molecular layer, followed by molecular simulation to see dynamical behavior of the surface.
Molecular machinery and robotics
Research work under this category aims to discover if molecules can be fabricated into electronics/mechanical devices. Understanding nanoscale phenomena, i.e. self-assembly and self-organization, is very useful for the whole nanotechnology field so as to develop self-replication and self-manufacturing.
Carbon nanotubes as nano-wire, nano-pore, nano-machine and nano-storage
Carbon nanotube (NT) is a good candidate for many technological applications. For electronics, NT exhibits a new architecture for nanoscopic circuitry. Its properties can be tuned by varying diameter, length, connectivity, doping, etc. which will determine its function in the circuits. NT is also proposed as building blocks for molecular machines and nanomechanical devices. Quantum physics, solid state theory and molecular simulation methods are employed in the study.
Transport at the nanometer scale is very interesting. Membrane proteins transport Na+ and K+ ions into and out of the cells. Crown ethers have molecular cavity that can selectively bind to cations and transport them between liquid layers. Zeolites possess nanopores that can selectively allow molecules to travel. Simulations are used to explore these exciting studies. Current work involves molecular simulation study of nanotransport across liquid membrane and molecular transport in zeolites.
Biomolecular surface science
We want to develop techniques that can immobilize biomolecules at the surface of thin film so that it can be exposed to characterization experiment. This will transfer a tool of materials scientists to bioscientists so that they can take extend the scope of biomedical equipment.
Currently, we are developing our own combined quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods that prove to work very well in solution phase of simple fluids. We are extending this scheme to model proteins.
Nanoinformatics: Matter as Software
In the future, biomedical scientists will be flooded with information from genomic exploration. NanoCenter has the responsibility to prepare the computational infrastructure for the coming post-genomic era for future needs of the Center and other biotechnology research groups. Cheap but high performance Linux Cluster environments need to be built. Nanoinformatics aims to learn how information is processed in the nanoscopic world. The ultimate goal of this novel field is "Matter as Software", in which all physical reality becomes "processing of information".
Soft condensed matters: Liquids and solutions
Liquids and Solutions have been used as the platform for developing new algorithms, codes and methods for Nano Simulation for a number of reasons. They won a rich variety of references so that they can be provided as benchmark base. We have started to develop our skills in Nano Simulation from liquid phase and now expand to other frontiers. We also invest these skills to develop the field of solution chemistry.
Center of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Chalermprakiat Building, Floor 4
Faculty of Science, Mahidol University
Rama 6 Road, Bangkok 10400 Thailand
Tel : (66) 2201-5842 Fax : (66) 2201-5843