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Start date: Aug 1, 2009, End date: Jul 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The NANOGOLD project aims at the fabrication and application of bulk electro-magnetic metamaterials. A promising new concept for the exploration of metamaterials is the use of periodic structures with periods considerably shorter than the wavelength of the operating electromagnetic radiation This concept allows to control the refractive properties. Making use of a bottom up approach in materials design, we will apply self-organization of organic-inorganic composite materials containing resonant entities. To tune electromagnetic properties, resonance and interference at different length scales will be implemented. In such a way we will obtain bulk optical metamaterials operating in spectral domains appropriate for photonics that can be used in applications. Our groundbreaking solution to form such artificial matter is interdisciplinary and combines inorganic chemistry, organic macromolecular synthesis, physics of electromagnetic resonances and liquid crystal technology. We start with resonant entities (metallic nanoparticles) and organize them via self-organization on the molecular scale. Systematic modular variation of the chemical entities gives access to libraries of materials which will be used to arrive at systems with desired properties. Simulation of optical properties and molecular ordering will guide the design of compounds and materials. Organization at molecular level leads to homogenous materials with optical, electronic or magnetic properties at elevated frequencies, in the visible and near infrared spectral range. The controlled utilization of the polymer physics of micro-segration, will allow for additional structuration at the nano-scale giving design freedoms to tune material properties optimally. NANOGOLD furthermore will make use of innovative fabrication techniques and processing known from liquid crystal displays by exploring new physical effects, which will result in novel devices.

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