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

Ferrofluidic Manipulator

Zoran Cenev, P. A. Diluka Harischandra, Seppo Nurmi, Mika Latikka, Ville Hyninen, Robin H.A. Ras, Jaakko V.I. Timonen, Quan Zhou 2021 IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics

Near-Infrared Chiral Plasmonic Microwires through Precision Assembly of Gold Nanorods on Soft Biotemplates

Amrita Chakraborty, Biswajit Mondal, Kamalesh Chaudhari, Heikki Rekola, Ville Hynninen, Mauri A. Kostiainen, Robin H.A. Ras, Thalappil Pradeep 2021 Journal of Physical Chemistry C

Dual-gated mono-bilayer graphene junctions

Mingde Du, Luojun Du, Nan Wei, Wei Liu, Xueyin Bai, Zhipei Sun 2021 Nanoscale Advances

A semi-grand canonical kinetic Monte Carlo study of single-walled carbon nanotube growth

Georg Daniel Förster, Thomas D. Swinburne, Hua Jiang, Esko Kauppinen, Christophe Bichara 2021 AIP ADVANCES

Luminescent Gold Nanocluster-Methylcellulose Composite Optical Fibers with Low Attenuation Coefficient and High Photostability

Ville Hynninen, Sourov Chandra, Susobhan Das, Mohammad Amini, Yunyun Dai, Sakari Lepikko, Pezhman Mohammadi, Sami Hietala, Robin H.A. Ras, Zhipei Sun, Olli Ikkala 2021 Small

Strong dark current suppression in flexible organic photodetectors by carbon nanotube transparent electrodes

Woongsik Jang, Byung Gi Kim, Seungju Seo, Ahmed Shawky, Min Soo Kim, Kyusun Kim, Bjørn Mikladal, Esko I. Kauppinen, Shigeo Maruyama, Il Jeon, Dong Hwan Wang 2021 NANO TODAY

Reuse of LiCoO2 Electrodes Collected from Spent Li-Ion Batteries after Electrochemical Re-Lithiation of the Electrode

Katja Lahtinen, Eeva Leena Rautama, Hua Jiang, Samuli Räsänen, Tanja Kallio 2021 ChemSusChem

Photoluminescence from Single-Walled MoS2Nanotubes Coaxially Grown on Boron Nitride Nanotubes

Ming Liu, Kaoru Hisama, Yongjia Zheng, Mina Maruyama, Seungju Seo, Anton Anisimov, Taiki Inoue, Esko I. Kauppinen, Susumu Okada, Shohei Chiashi, Rong Xiang, Shigeo Maruyama 2021 ACS Nano

Initial competing chemical pathways during floating catalyst chemical vapor deposition carbon nanotube growth

Ben Mclean, Esko I. Kauppinen, Alister J. Page 2021 Journal of Applied Physics

Electronic transitions of SWCNTs in comparison to GO on Mn3O4/TiO2nanocomposites for hydrogen energy generation and solar photocatalysis

Saima Noor, Shamaila Sajjad, Sajjad Ahmed Khan Leghari, Cristina Flox, Tanja Kallio, Esko I. Kauppinen, Saeed Ahmad 2021 New Journal of Chemistry
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database

Research group members

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