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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

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.
Olli Ikkala (right) was appointed Aalto Distinguished Professor in the Opening Ceremony of the academic year by President Ilkka Niemelä (left). Photo: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University.
Honoured, Research & Art Published:

Olli Ikkala appointed Aalto Distinguished Professor

Professor Olli Ikkala at the Department of Applied Physics has been appointed as Aalto Distinguished Professor. The title is awarded to Professors of exceptional academic merit.
Biomim
Research & Art Published:

‘Biomimicry in the Nordic Countries’ working paper highlights HYBER CoE

HYBER CoE is highlighted as a Finnish forerunner in biomimetics in a new Nordic Working Paper
Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) plays a significant role in the performance of numerous energy‐conversion devices. Image: Valeria Azovskaya
Research & Art Published:

Advanced Materials highlights Finnish materials science

Advanced Materials, a premier journal in the field, has dedicated an issue to Finnish research, covering several articles from Aalto University.

Latest publications

Molecular Materials, Department of Applied Physics

Preparation of hierarchical superhydrophobic melamine-formaldehyde/Ag nanocomposite arrays as surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrates for ultrasensitive and reproducible detection of biomolecules

Publishing year: 2019 Sensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Molecular Materials, Department of Applied Physics

Polyelectrolyte stabilized nanodiamond dispersions

Publishing year: 2019 Diamond and Related Materials
Molecular Materials, Department of Applied Physics

Density scaling in the mechanics of a disordered mechanical meta-material

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

DNA origami directed 3D nanoparticle superlattice via electrostatic assembly

Publishing year: 2019 Nanoscale
Department of Applied Physics, Molecular Materials

Peptide-Stabilized Emulsions and Gels from an Arginine-Rich Surfactant-like Peptide with Antimicrobial Activity

Publishing year: 2019 ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Department of Applied Physics, Molecular Materials

Preparation of membrane-mimicking lamellar structures by molecular confinement of hybrid nanocomposites

Publishing year: 2019 Chemical Communications
Department of Applied Physics, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Molecular Materials, Wood Chemistry

Cellulose elementary fibril orientation in the spruce S1-2 transition layer

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

Methyl cellulose/cellulose nanocrystal nanocomposite fibers with high ductility

Publishing year: 2019 European Polymer Journal
Department of Applied Physics, Molecular Materials

Self-Assembly of Lipopeptides Containing Short Peptide Fragments Derived from the Gastrointestinal Hormone PYY3-36

Publishing year: 2019 Journal of Physical Chemistry B
Molecular Materials, Department of Applied Physics, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems

In Situ Generation of Chiroptically-Active Gold-Peptide Superstructures Promoted by Iodination

Publishing year: 2019 ACS Nano
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
Claudia Pigliacelli

Claudia Pigliacelli

Department of Applied Physics
Postdoctoral Researcher

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
Postdoctoral Researcher

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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