Ordered mesoporous discovered about a decade ago, raised a wide interest in the scientific community stemmed by their complex structure and unique properties which leads to potential applications in divers technological fields such as catalysis, membranes, microelectronics, sensors and artificial organs. The formation of these materials is initiated by supra-molecular aggregation of organic molecules in the presence of an inorganic oxide source, usually silica, which polymerizes to form solids with a well defined pore structure. Over the last decade a wide range of materials with different structures and compositions were synthesized. Yet full control over the properties has not been achieved so far, due to the lack of detailed understanding of the interactions and processes that drive the formations of these materials.

The general theme of the project is to rationalize the synthesis-structure-function relationships in meso-structures materials formed via supra-molecular templating. This fundamental goal encompasses many relevant and important challenges out of which the focus will be on  preparation of new functional materials based on novel templating schemes, investigation of the of the formation mechanism of these materials in the bulk and in thin films from  the molecular level point of view, characterization of the effect of thin film geometry on the structure and properties, identification of the origins of functionality with respect to catalytic, electronic and surface properties, and understanding the restricted molecular motion within the mesophase. The project is of an interdisciplinary nature and the investigation of its physical and chemical aspects requires the integration of knowledge from different fields and the consideration of many relevant aspects. Five different groups combined their interests and expertise to meet the above challenge.


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