Nanotechnology is essentially based on the ability to easily mass fabricate nanoscale structures reaching down to the atomic scale. At this level, conventional top-down approaches become unusable. The natural alternative is self-organized growth, where nanoscale arrangements are built from their atomic and molecular constituents by processes intrinsically providing structural organization. Supramolecular self-assembly is a very attractive chemical strategy to achieve this goal both for its efficiency and for the high structural quality that can be obtained.
Our research objectives are focused on the development of novel and efficient approaches for combining molecular building blocks into desired functional architectures and on the exploration of their fundamental interactions and properties.
Many of the devised applications of these new nanomaterials involve the presence of a substrate for their accessibility and their connection with the macroscopic world. As a consequence, most of our research is concentrated on building and characterising functional supramolecular architectures at surfaces. To this aim we employ a range of deposition methods and state of the art characterisation techniques including scanning probe microscopy and electronic spectroscopy.