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Nanosized porous molecular metal oxides with functionalizable cavities and soft matter behaviour allow studies of new phenomena (Nanooxides)
Start date: Feb 1, 2013, End date: Jan 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

It is generally accepted that nano materials “will revolutionize our industries and our lives” (Nobel laureate R. Smalley). We wish to extend our work on unique metal-oxide nano materials, which offer signposting routes due to their structures/forms – like our worldwide highlighted and used spherical capsules with 20 gated pores – to study novel phenomena with impact for basic research as well as applications. These nano materials should now be adjusted regarding size, chemical composition, their linking to extended structures, and a variety of new tailored internal functionalities in order to get appropriate properties of interest for different purposes of nano science and technology. Among the examples are: the protection/stabilization of intermediates and transport of the encapsulated materials after pore closing, systematic studies regarding the generation of hydrophobic cavities with and without water (of importance for protein research and even related to drug design), the removal of a variety of hydrophobic (potentially toxic) compounds from water based on molecular recognition (a paradigmatic shift) and finally, stepwise capsule closing and opening related to allosteric effects. The intended work on the capsules should open doors for the understanding of phenomena in small spaces. Also materials based on the related wheel-shaped metal-oxides with unprecedented properties (i.e. soft matter behaviour) will be investigated.
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