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Overal Goals and Overview

This substantial and highly topical interdisciplinary Nanomaterials – Nanophotonics - Nanoelectronics project will present a systematic investigation of new versatile functional Nanomaterials based on precise organised nanostructure formation of large dye and Nanocarbon self - assemblies. Our clean approach is a new pathway to derive transformative functionalities. Our "bottom - up" approach enables us to correlate the molecular arrangement of the assembled nanostructures to their linear and nonlinear optical, opto electronic and charge transport properties. O ur main research thrust of improving the efficiency of conversion of light into electronic signals has immediate and direct implications on solar energy conversion. With an estimated one third of the sun’s incid ent light detected on earth beyond the 1 m wavelength range, the harvesting of incident irradiation in this region is of crucial importance to current and future solar energy conversion efficiencies. Successful implementation will pioneer a new kind of in dustrial development in cutting - edge nanotechnology, opto/electronics and photonics, strengthening the competitive position of Ireland in the global photonics and ICT sectors.

Aims of significance

Nanocarbons, i.e. single - walled nanotube (SWNT) and graphene surfaces can mediate the self - assembly of polymers, large conjugated organic and organometallic, e.g. dye, molecules and small Nanocarbons, e.g. Fullerene C 60 , C 70 or C 84 structures, on their surfaces. In this manner it is possible to generat e organised hybrid structures that would not form in solution or free space. Such assemblies, particularly in the case of supramolecular J - aggregates of dye molecules, can possess wavelength tailorable, sharp optical absorption bands and large optical cros s sections so that they can photosensitise nanocarbon devices with high selectivity and sensitivity. In addition, these aggregates can locally modify the intrinsic electronic structure of the underlying nanocarbons and thereby generate locally defined elec tronic structures which are not available in neat nanocarbon particles. Ultimately, this research will lead towards all - Carbon heterojunction structures with precisely controlled all - Carbon hybrid nanomaterial interfaces. Self - assembly of electron accepti ng Fullerene and electron donating, e.g. large diameter semiconducting single - walled carbon (s - SWNT) nanotube interfaces offer promising efficiencies for solar energy conversion applications.

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