Integration of Molecular Components in Functional Macroscopic Systems

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A small steel box with a translucent band of silicon gliding over a triangle of rolls.
A small steel box with a translucent band of silicon gliding over a triangle of rolls.

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The next deadline for the submission of outlines is October 31, 2012

For a number of years now, scientists have developed materials and components at the nanoscale with exceptional properties. Typical for these products of nanotechnology are dimensions of just a few nanometres. However, until now they have been successful above all as well characterized and controllable single components – wider-scope applications based on these components still remain the exception.

The main focus of this initiative, therefore, is to promote the advancement of molecular or nanoscale units to more complex functional systems at a macroscopic scale. The challenge lies above all in exploring the missing link between the macroscopic and the nano level. For this reason, the Foundation addresses the need to encompass the complete related research chain. And this ranges from the production of nano-components, through their integration in larger systems, their controllability and manipulation, as well as proof of functional capability, up to and including the production of prototype devices or components. Project proposals should therefore integrate at least two of these steps. This funding initiative thereby reaches purposefully beyond the sphere of purely fundamental research.

The initiative is aimed at scientists drawn from the disciplines of chemistry, physics and biology, whereby the Foundation may also consider applications from the engineering sciences and medicine. Funding can be awarded both for integrative joint projects – also together with cooperation partners in other countries – as well as for outstanding individual research groups. In order to leave the scope for promising research fields as open as possible, there are no thematic restrictions. Projects may be eligible for funding in the longer term, possibly up to five or six years. As an accompanying measure, support may be provided to enable scientific exchange: via summer schools, visiting professorships and sabbaticals, laboratory rotations and conferences.

The next deadline for the submission of outlines is October 31, 2012

For a number of years now, scientists have developed materials and components at the nanoscale with exceptional properties. Typical for these products of nanotechnology are dimensions of just a few nanometres. However, until now they have been successful above all as well characterized and controllable single components – wider-scope applications based on these components still remain the exception.

The main focus of this initiative, therefore, is to promote the advancement of molecular or nanoscale units to more complex functional systems at a macroscopic scale. The challenge lies above all in exploring the missing link between the macroscopic and the nano level. For this reason, the Foundation addresses the need to encompass the complete related research chain. And this ranges from the production of nano-components, through their integration in larger systems, their controllability and manipulation, as well as proof of functional capability, up to and including the production of prototype devices or components. Project proposals should therefore integrate at least two of these steps. This funding initiative thereby reaches purposefully beyond the sphere of purely fundamental research.

The initiative is aimed at scientists drawn from the disciplines of chemistry, physics and biology, whereby the Foundation may also consider applications from the engineering sciences and medicine. Funding can be awarded both for integrative joint projects – also together with cooperation partners in other countries – as well as for outstanding individual research groups. In order to leave the scope for promising research fields as open as possible, there are no thematic restrictions. Projects may be eligible for funding in the longer term, possibly up to five or six years. As an accompanying measure, support may be provided to enable scientific exchange: via summer schools, visiting professorships and sabbaticals, laboratory rotations and conferences.