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

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
an electron microscope image showing a carbon nanotube on top of a substrate of graphene
Research & Art Published:

Graphene substrate improves the conductivity of carbon nanotube network

Scientists at Aalto University, Finland, and the University of Vienna, Austria, have combined graphene and single-walled carbon nanotubes into a transparent hybrid material with conductivity higher than either component exhibits separately.


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

Ultrafast optoelectronic processes in 1d radial van der waals heterostructures

Maria G. Burdanova, Reza J. Kashtiban, Yongjia Zheng, Rong Xiang, Shohei Chiashi, Jack Matthew Woolley, Michael Staniforth, Emily Sakamoto-Rablah, Xue Xie, Matthew Broome, Jeremy Sloan, Anton Anisimov, Esko I. Kauppinen, Shigeo Maruyama, James Lloyd-Hughes 2020 Nano Letters

High-performance transparent conducting films of long single-walled carbon nanotubes synthesized from toluene alone

Er-Xiong Ding, Aqeel Hussain, Saeed Ahmad, Qiang Zhang, Yongping Liao, Hua Jiang, Esko I. Kauppinen 2020 Nano Research

Scalable growth of single-walled carbon nanotubes with a highly uniform structure

Aqeel Hussain, Er Xiong Ding, Ben McLean, Kimmo Mustonen, Saeed Ahmad, Mohammad Tavakkoli, Alister J. Page, Qiang Zhang, Jani Kotakoski, Esko I. Kauppinen 2020 Nanoscale

Carbon nanotubes to outperform metal electrodes in perovskite solar cellsviadopant engineering and hole-selectivity enhancement

Il Jeon, Ahmed Shawky, Seungju Seo, Yang Qian, Anton Anisimov, Esko I. Kauppinen, Yutaka Matsuo, Shigeo Maruyama 2020 Journal of Materials Chemistry A

Electrochemical Detection of Oxycodone and Its Main Metabolites with Nafion-Coated Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Electrodes

Elsi Mynttinen, Niklas Wester, Tuomas Lilius, Eija Kalso, Bjørn Mikladal, Ilkka Varjos, Sami Sainio, Hua Jiang, Esko Kauppinen, Jari Koskinen, Tomi Laurila 2020 Analytical Chemistry

Hydrodeoxygenation of levulinic acid dimers on a zirconia-supported ruthenium catalyst

Eveliina Mäkelä, José Luis González Escobedo, Marina Lindblad, Mats Käldström, Heidi Meriö-Talvio, Hua Jiang, Riikka L. Puurunen, Reetta Karinen 2020 CATALYSTS

A Platinum Nanowire Electrocatalyst on Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes to Drive Hydrogen Evolution

Taneli Rajala, Rasmus Kronberg, R Backhouse, Marthe Emelie Melandsø Buan, M Tripathi, A Zitolo, Hua Jiang, Kari Laasonen, Toma Susi, F Jaouen, Tanja Kallio 2020 Applied Catalysis B: Environmental

Mesoporous Single-Atom-Doped Graphene-Carbon Nanotube Hybrid

Mohammad Tavakkoli, Emmanuel Flahaut, Pekka Peljo, Jani Sainio, Fatemeh Davodi, Egor V. Lobiak, Kimmo Mustonen, Esko I. Kauppinen 2020 ACS Catalysis

Enhanced In-Plane Thermal Conductance of Thin Films Composed of Coaxially Combined Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes and Boron Nitride Nanotubes

Pengyingkai Wang, Yongjia Zheng, Taiki Inoue, Rong Xiang, Ahmed Shawky, Makoto Watanabe, Anton Anisimov, Esko I. Kauppinen, Shohei Chiashi, Shigeo Maruyama 2020 ACS Nano
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
  • Published:
  • Updated:
URL copied!