Department of Applied Physics

Nanomaterials (NMG)

The NanoMaterials Group, headed by Prof. Esko I. Kauppinen, is among the top aerosol technology laboratories in the world and offers a unique environment for strong interdisciplinary research and a proven track record of productive cooperation.
Nanomaterials Group

The main research areas of the group are

  • the aerosol synthesis and mechanistic studies of formation of carbon nanotubes and inorganic nanoparticles
  • the applications of carbon nanotubes in transparent and flexible electronics
  • pharmaceutical nanoparticles and nanostructured microparticles as drug delivery systems
  • high resolution electron microscopy

Aalto Game Changer video of the NMG group (see also

Professor Esko I. Kauppinen, PhD (Physics)
Professor Esko I. Kauppinen

Group leader

Esko Kauppinen

Professor Esko I. Kauppinen, PhD (Physics) is the Vice-Dean responsible for research, innovations and industry relationships at the Aalto University School of Science and Tenured Professor of Physics at the Department of Applied Physics. He has published more than 450   scientific journal papers e.g. in Nature NanotechnologyNanoLetters, ACS Nano, Angewandte Chemie, Carbon, Energy and Environmental Sciences etc., having Hirsch-index over 69 and over 17 200citations.  He has given more than 130 keynote and invited conference talks and over 230 talks at world leading companies and universities. He is considered one of the world leading authors in the area of single walled carbon nanotube synthesis, characterisation and thin film applications as well as in the gas phase synthesis of particles for inhalation drug delivery. He is the founding member of the companies Canatu Oy (, MetalCirc Oy ( Teicos Pharma Oy ( Professor Kauppinen is the first Finnish recipient of a UNESCO Nanosciences Medal, which he received 2018.


The NanoMaterials group is active in several research fields:

  • Aerosol-based synthesis of nanomaterials: single-walled and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs), metal and metal oxide catalyst nanoparticles
  • Carbon nanotube based thin film electronics: transparent conducting electrodes (TCEs), thin film transistors (TFTs), sensors
  • Materials for electrochemical energy applications
  • Pharmaceutical nanomaterials: nanostructured microparticles and nanoparticles for  drug delivery and controlled release
  • Electron microscopy: atomic resolution imaging of nanomaterials, EDX, chirality measurements of CNTs
  • Aerosol measurements and techniques: Differential Mobility Analysis (DMAs), nanoaerosol deposition by thermophoretic and electrostatic precipitators
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Latest news

Picture: Nan Wei / Nanomaterials Group, Aalto University.
Press releases Published:

Sheets of carbon nanotubes come in a rainbow of colours

Study: Nanotube films come in 466 colours, could be used in electronics, solar panels
A cartoon of the structure of the catalyst
Press releases Published:

New material developed could help clean energy revolution

Researchers developed a promising graphene–carbon nanotube catalyst, giving them better control over hugely important chemical reactions for producing hydrogen fuel
Different nanotubes layered on top of eachother
Press releases Published:

Aalto carbon nanotubes used in new material revolution

Nanomaterials produced here have been used in groundbreaking new Science paper as part of international collaboration
Nanotube transistors on a chip being tested electically
Research & Art Published:

New way to know an old friend: New method reveals clean carbon nanotube transistors with superb properties

Scientists at Aalto and Nagoya University find new way to make ultra-clean nanotube transistors with superior semiconducting properties


The Nanomaterials group has a wide range of experimental facilities for the synthesis of carbon nanotubes and for their characterization as well as for developing pharmaceutical inhalation products.

Aerosol reactors for drug delivery systems

The Nanomaterials Group has developed the Aerosol Flow Reactor Method to formulate nano- and microparticles for pharmaceutical applications. The aerosol method enables formulating materials with different solubilities and thermal properties as novel platforms for controlled drug delivery, non-viral vectors for gene therapy and carrier-free drug powders for inhalation therapy.

Current focus areas

  • Next generation pulmonary delivery of therapeutic peptides
  • Efficient pulmonary delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs
  • Coating and encapsulation of combination drugs for pulmonary delivery

Aerosol flow reactor

Solutions where materials are dissolved are dispersed into droplets which are carried to the aerosol reactor with a gas. The particles are dried in a laminar flow followed by the coating process. Dry particles are collected by a cyclone or impactor. The general features of the aerosol reactor are listed below.

  • Jet atomizer: droplet size 300 nm, production 104-105 1/cm3
  • Ultrasonic nebulizer: droplet size 3-4 µm, production 105-106 1/cm3
  • Temperature 20-300 ºC, flow rate 1-20 l/min
  • Solvent options are many, however, no solvent mixtures are recommended

Carbon nanotube reactors

The Nanomaterials Group operates five carbon nanotube reactors based on the aerosol-based synthesis technique.

Diverse equipment

Latest publications

A Review of the Terahertz Conductivity and Photoconductivity of Carbon Nanotubes and Heteronanotubes

Maria G. Burdanova, Alexey P. Tsapenko, Marianna V. Kharlamova, Esko I. Kauppinen, Boris P. Gorshunov, Junichiro Kono, James Lloyd-Hughes 2021 ADVANCED OPTICAL MATERIALS

Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Thin Film with High Semiconducting Purity by Aerosol Etching toward Thin-Film Transistors

Yongping Liao, Zhao Zhang, Qiang Zhang, Nan Wei, Saeed Ahmad, Ying Tian, Esko I. Kauppinen 2021 ACS Applied Nano Materials

One-dimensional van der Waals heterostructures

Yongjia Zheng, Akihito Kumamoto, Kaoru Hisama, Keigo Otsuka, Grace Wickerson, Yuta Sato, Ming Liu, Taiki Inoue, Shohei Chiashi, Dai Ming Tang, Qiang Zhang, Anton Anisimov, Esko I. Kauppinen, Yan Li, Kazu Suenaga, Yuichi Ikuhara, Shigeo Maruyama, Rong Xiang 2021 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

[email protected] with 1D van der Waals Heterostructure with a High Optical Damage Threshold for Laser Mode-locking

Zheyuan Zhang, Xiangnan Sun, Pengtao Yuan, Shoko Yokokawa, Yongjia Zheng, Hongbo Jiang, Lei Jin, Anton S. Anisimov, Esko I. Kauppinen, Rong Xiang, Shigeo Maruyama, Shinji Yamashita, Sze Y. Set 2021 Journal of Lightwave Technology

Large-Diameter Carbon Nanotube Transparent Conductor Overcoming Performance–Yield Tradeoff

Qiang Zhang, Jeong Seok Nam, Jiye Han, Sukanta Datta, Nan Wei, Er Xiong Ding, Aqeel Hussain, Saeed Ahmad, Viera Skakalova, Abu Taher Khan, Yong Ping Liao, Mohammad Tavakkoli, Bo Peng, Kimmo Mustonen, Dawoon Kim, In Chung, Shigeo Maruyama, Hua Jiang, Il Jeon, Esko I. Kauppinen 2021 Advanced Functional Materials

Foldable Perovskite Solar Cells Using Carbon Nanotube-Embedded Ultrathin Polyimide Conductor

Jungjin Yoon, Unsoo Kim, Yongseok Yoo, Junseop Byeon, Seoung Ki Lee, Jeong Seok Nam, Kyusun Kim, Qiang Zhang, Esko I. Kauppinen, Shigeo Maruyama, Phillip Lee, Il Jeon 2021 Advanced Science

Integrated, Highly Flexible, and Tailorable Thermoelectric Type Temperature Detectors Based on a Continuous Carbon Nanotube Fiber

Xiaogang Xia, Qiang Zhang, Wenbin Zhou, Jie Mei, Zhuojian Xiao, Wei Xi, Yanchun Wang, Sishen Xie, Weiya Zhou 2021 Small

Intertube Excitonic Coupling in Nanotube Van der Waals Heterostructures

Maria G. Burdanova, Ming Liu, Michael Staniforth, Yongjia Zheng, Rong Xiang, Shohei Chiashi, Anton Anisimov, Esko I. Kauppinen, Shigeo Maruyama, James Lloyd-Hughes 2021 Advanced Functional Materials

Colors of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

Nan Wei, Ying Tian, Yongping Liao, Natsumi Komatsu, Weilu Gao, Alina Lyuleeva-Husemann, Qiang Zhang, Aqeel Hussain, Er Xiong Ding, Fengrui Yao, Janne Halme, Kaihui Liu, Junichiro Kono, Hua Jiang, Esko I. Kauppinen 2021 Advanced Materials

Phenomenological model of thermal transport in carbon nanotube and hetero-nanotube films

Pengyingkai Wang, Ya Feng, Rong Xiang, Taiki Inoue, Anton Anisimov, Esko Kauppinen, Shohei Chiashi, Shigeo Maruyama 2021 Nanotechnology
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database

Research group members

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