Exploration of the nano-scale regime has opened new opportunities for science and technology on the basis of unconventional properties of nano-structured materials. Amongst these, semiconductor nanowires (NWs) show a consistent potential for applications and have received significant attention as they combine the nano- with micro-scale dimensions that enables exploitation of vectorial-type concepts, such as light amplification, charge transport or energy transfer. The material of choice is ZnO, a key system in nanotechnology owing to its optical and electronic properties, as well as because it exhibits the most abundant configurations of nanostructures that one single material can adopt.
The goal of the project is to form a strategic partnership that would develop efficient communication for the development of nanowire-type ZnO based materials with tailored optical, electronic and magnetic properties.
We propose an integral approach to enable the fabrication of novel devices with applications in
- photonics (random- and nano-lasers, photonic crystal lasers) and
- energy conversion (dye sensitized solar cells).
More specifically, the consortium combines strengths in design and synthesis of nano-materials, advanced laser spectroscopies, structure-property characterization tools and crucial input from theoretical/computational methods. Control over the microscopic (growth and electronic) mechanisms involved is expected to be gained to allow us producing efficiently ZnO nanowire structures with appropriately tuned characteristics. These will then serve as functional building blocks in fabricating novel photonic or energy conversion micro-devices.
The project will also act as a lever to related research activities in nanophotonics and nanomaterials-based renewable energy sources, increasing the impact and efficiency of investment in these cutting-edge research technologies in Greece.