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Focused Session 3: Chemical processing of functional materials: Understanding the conversion of molecular structures to solid-state compounds

Designing matter from atomistic to macroscopic scales is a unique attribute of chemical materials technologies. Processing of a large number of compounds with controlled crystal structure, porosity and dimensionality involve a significant chemical interplay, which is rarely considered as a guiding parameter. This focused session intends to conceptually unite the materials chemists with ceramists and materials engineers for developing new concepts and pathways for synthesis, handling and device integration of functional materials. Whereas the conventional top-down methods are preferred due to their simplicity and to some extent predictable nature, they operate mostly in the thermodynamical regimes and are less suited for synthesizing multi-component and hybrid (organic-inorganic) materials. The chemical approaches based on well-defined precursors offer precise control  over chemical composition, microstructure, porosity and low processing temperatures that have provided access to vast number of metastable phases with interesting properties and have opened several new application domains. Despite the well-known benefits of molecular-level processing of inorganic solids, a major challenge lies in the limited insight into molecule-to-material transformations and the fact that many of the molecular precursors are commercially not available.


This focused session will discuss new transformation mechanisms for converting molecular precursors into functional solid-state structures. Role of precursor chemistry and additives in solution such as sol-gel, solvothermal, electrospinning and microwave and gas phase techniques such as Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) will be critically analysed. Specific emphasis will be to demonstrate materials manufacturing strategies and chemically controlled assembly and purpose-driven modification of materials. Non-conventional synthesis and analytical methods enabling in-situ diagnostics and mechanistic insights into nucleation, growth and self-assembly can circumvent existing problems. Particular focus will be to elucidate the need of new and smart precursor chemistry to obtain specific material compositions, that can  integrate the advancements in materials processing techniques with the existing knowledge-base of materials chemistry. The industrial potential of chemically processed materials will be analyzed and discussed towards their simplicity, scalability and cost-effectiveness.


Proposed session topics

  • Precursor chemistry – Structural and thermal characterization
  • Figure of Merit studies on precursor to material transformations
  • Chemically processed nanostructures – 0D, 1D, 2D and 3D systems
  • Solution-phase processing of functional materials
  • Molecular precursor approaches for vapor-phase synthesis of materials
  • In situ studies on nucleation and growth of solid-state phases in solution and gas phases
  • Surface chemistry on nanostructures
  • Scaled-up production of precursor-derived materials
  • Materials integration and device applications


Symposium organizers

  • Sanjay Mathur, University of Cologne, Germany; sanjay.mathur@uni-koeln.de
  • Maarit Karppinen, University of Aalto, Finland
  • Se-Hun Kwon, Busan National University
  • Aivaras Kareiva, Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • Thomas Fischer, University of Cologne, Germany
  • Linan An, University of Central Florida, USA
  • Edwin Kroke, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany
  • Hiromitsu Kozuka, Kansai University, Japan
  • Philippe Miele, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier,
  • Hirokazu Katsui, Tohoku University, Japan

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