Molecular Materials (Molmat)

Molecular Materials (Molmat) is a multidisciplinary research group consisting of physicists, chemists and biologists aiming at functional materials based on supramolecular and supracolloidal self-assembly and its hierarchies.
Molmat_sample

We use polymers, conjugated polymers, polypeptides, liquid crystals, nanocellulose, metal nanoparticles, dendrimers, virus particles, carbon nanotubes and other carbon-based materials as structural and functional units in supramolecular assemblies.  Recently, we have been engaged in bio-mimetic self-assembly with a special emphasis on nacre and silk mimetics.

HYBER

The Molmat group is a part of HYBER, the Academy of Finland´s Centre of Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials research (2014-2019), led by Professor Ikkala. HYBER aims to use biological concepts for next generation materials science.

Nanomicroscopy Centre (NMC)

Molmat is also a part of the Nanomicroscopy Center administered by Professor Janne Ruokolainen. NMC is a cutting-edge microscopy facility offering us a number of high-resolution imaging and fabrication tools for soft, hard and biomaterial characterization.

Professor Olli Ikkala - Photo by Lasse Lecklin

Group leader

Professor Olli Ikkala 

I head the Molecular Materials laboratory at the Department of Applied Physics of Aalto University in Greater Helsinki and the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials Research (HYBER) of the Academy of Finland. My research interest is to develop functional materials based on hierarchical self-assemblies, biomimetics, and materials originating from nature, such as nanocellulose. The laboratory is multidisciplinary, combining physics, chemistry, and materials science. I have published nearly 300 articles, including several articles in the Science and Nature family, as well as ca 20 patents, and have been cited nearly 15,000 times (H-index 66). I have twice been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant and twice an Academy Professorship of the Academy of Finland. I am an elected member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters and the Technology Academy of Finland.

Molecular Materials Facilities

The Molecular Materials research group is located in Nanotalo. The building also houses the Nanomicroscopy Center (NMC).

All equipment is available for external users.  Contact details of the responsible persons are listed below (Note: Each facility has a different contact person).

Collaboration

We collaborate extensively, both internationally and nationally. Our collaborators include:

Companies

  • Kemira
  • Nokia
  • UPM-Kymmene

International research institutes and universities

  • CEA/CNRS/Cermav, Grenoble, France (Patrice Rannou, Redouane Borsali and Vincent Forge)
  • Politecnico di Milano, Italy ( Pierangelo Metrangolo)
  • University of Duisburg-Essen. Germany (Andre Gröschel)
  • University of Bayreuth (A. Müller et al.)
  • University of Bristol (C. Faul et al.), Max Planck Institute, Golm (H. Schlaad, H. Börner et al.)
  • University of Athens (N. Hadjichristidis et al.)
  • KTH (L. Berglund, T. Lindström)
  • University of Cambridge (U. Steiner et al.)
  • University of Fribourg (R. Mezzenga et al.)
  • University of Groningen (G. ten Brinke et al.)
  • University of Santa Barbara (E. Kramer, G. Fredrickson et al.)
  • University of York (D. Smith et al.)
  • University of Pennsylvania (V. Percec et al.)
  • KAUST (N. Hadjichristidis et al.)
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (H. Iatrou et al.)
  • University of Montreal (X.X. Zhu et al.)

National research institutes and universities

  • Tampere University of Technology (A. Priimägi)
  • University of Helsinki (M. Leskelä and M. Ritala et al., R. Serimaa et al., H. Tenhu et al., A. Urtti et al.)
  • VTT Biotechnology (M.Penttilä)
  • VTT Printable Electronics and Optics (H. Sandberg et al.)
  • Åbo Academy University (R. Österbacka et al.)
  • University of Helsinki (J. Hirvonen and L. Bimbo et al.)
  • University of Jyväskylä (H. Häkkinen et al., M. Lahtinen et al.)
  • Biomedicum, University of Helsinki (J. Klefström et al.).

Research groups within our university

Biotechnology and Chemical Technology (M. Linder, M. Kostiainen, J. Seppälä et al.)

Forest Products Chemistry (O. Rojas, J. Laine, E. Kontturi, M. Österberg)

Chemistry (M. Karppinen, K. Kontturi, C. Johans et al. )

Applied Physics (E. Kauppinen, P. Törmä)

Latest news

Olli Ikkala
Aalto Magazine, Research & Art Published:

Learning from nature

In his lab, Academy Professor Olli Ikkala is catching up with evolution’s lead in the manufacture of materials. The results of his work may be of crucial significance to an energy-scarce society.
Test tube made to look like Pavlolv's dog
Press releases Published:

Pavlov's classical conditioning inspires materials scientists

Concepts of experimental psychology replicated in smart materials
Olli Ikkala.
Research & Art Published:

Professor Olli Ikkala wins Dutch Polymer Science award

The annual PTN Medema Lecture award is granted to a renowned international polymer scientist
Image: Lasse Lecklin.
Research & Art Published:

Aalto Distinguished Professor Olli Ikkala awarded academic knighthood of the Ordre des Palmes académiques

Professor Ikkala was recognised for his contributions to advancing scientific partnerships between France and Finland.

Latest publications

Department of Applied Physics, Molecular Materials

Preparation of colloidal polydopamine/Au hollow spheres for enhanced ultrasound contrast imaging and photothermal therapy

Publishing year: 2020 Materials Science and Engineering C
Department of Applied Physics, Molecular Materials

Synthesis of sandwich-structured [email protected]@silver shells with enhanced antibacterial activities

Publishing year: 2019 Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biomolecular materials, Biohybrid materials, Department of Applied Physics, Molecular Materials

Biomimetic composites with enhanced toughening using silk-inspired triblock proteins and aligned nanocellulose reinforcements

Publishing year: 2019 Science Advances
Department of Applied Physics, Molecular Materials

Probing the molecular interactions between pharmaceutical polymeric carriers and bile salts in simulated gastrointestinal fluids using NMR spectroscopy

Publishing year: 2019 Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
Department of Applied Physics, Molecular Materials

Investigation of precise molecular mechanistic action of tobacco-associated carcinogen `NNK´ induced carcinogenesis

Publishing year: 2019 Genes
Department of Applied Physics, Molecular Materials, Soft Matter and Wetting

Light-induced reversible hydrophobization of cationic gold nanoparticles via electrostatic adsorption of a photoacid

Publishing year: 2019 Nanoscale
Department of Applied Physics, Soft Matter and Wetting, Biomolecular materials, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Active Matter, Surface Science, NanoMaterials, Molecular Materials

Highly Luminescent Gold Nanocluster Frameworks

Publishing year: 2019 ADVANCED OPTICAL MATERIALS
Molecular Materials, Department of Applied Physics

Programmable responsive hydrogels inspired by classical conditioning algorithm

Publishing year: 2019 Nature Communications
Molecular Materials, Department of Applied Physics, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biomolecular materials

Strain-Stiffening of Agarose Gels

Publishing year: 2019 ACS Macro Letters
Molecular Materials, Department of Applied Physics

Organogel Formation Rationalized by Hansen Solubility Parameters

Publishing year: 2019 Langmuir
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database

Research group members

Kia Bertula

Kia Bertula

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate
Tomy Cherian

Tomy Cherian

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate
Lahja Martikainen

Lahja Martikainen

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate
Olli Ikkala

Olli Ikkala

Department of Applied Physics
Professor
Janne Ruokolainen

Janne Ruokolainen

Department of Applied Physics
Professor
Ville Hynninen

Ville Hynninen

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate

Lotta Gustavsson

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate

Emilie Ressouche

Department of Applied Physics
Postdoctoral Researcher

Hang Zhang

Department of Applied Physics
Postdoctoral Researcher

Bo Peng

Department of Applied Physics
Academy Research Fellow

Amanda Eklund

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate

Contacts

Contact:

Prof. Olli Ikkala
Coordinator Mirkka Jones

Postal address:

Department of Applied Physics
Aalto University School of Science
P.O. Box 15100, 00076 Aalto, Finland

Visiting address:

Nano Building,
Puumiehenkuja 2 A
02150 Espoo

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