Graphene sheet, conceptual illustration

Source: KTDesign/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

At BAM, we consider nanotechnology in the broad sense: where nanomaterials and –structures are used to enhance real-world applications. Successful applications of nanotechnology include quantum dots in QLED televisions and sensors, heterogeneous catalysts, and nanostructured surfaces to improve antibacterial properties. It is for these applications that large amounts of specific nanomaterials are produced, which subsequently enter the work and life environment, after which they find themselves in the waste or recycling streams.

A successful application of nanotechnology will, therefore, lead to a drastic increase of that particular material or structure in normal life. In order to investigate its effects on safety in a timely manner, and to improve their use by increasing the efficiency, BAM is actively researching applications of nanotechnology to stay ahead of the curve and fine-tune its expertise in the areas where it is needed. In other words, by researching the applications, we can extrapolate, improve and investigate future uses of nanomaterials, which will help to steer the development of materials and characterization into fields that are likely to become relevant.

Nanotechnology at BAM

The definition of nanotechnology according to ISO 80004-1 is:

Application of scientific knowledge to manipulate and control matter predominantly in the nanoscale to make use of size- and structure-dependent properties and phenomena distinct from those associated with individual atoms or molecules, or extrapolation from larger sizes of the same material.

Based on this definition, the term nanotechnology is also used at BAM.
Already existing fields of work include:

  • Functionalized nanoobjects
  • Structures from nanoobjects
  • Nanolayers
  • Nanotechnology
  • Innovative materials

Research & development

As the applications of nanotechnology are manifold, BAM applies its efforts strategically, helping to research fundamental and in-depth aspects of nanotechnology, together with research groups at other German and international institutes and universities.

The highly agile nanotechnology development teams at BAM are able to rapidly investigate new and novel developments together with their internal and external partners, exploiting automation whenever possible. The teams are assembled to match a given project. These development teams have crossdepartmental access to a wide range of laboratories and techniques, and serve as think tanks for quickly exploring new fields and new ideas. Also, BAM offers extended Adolf-Martens scholarships for independently researching young postdocs.