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

Group leader Esko Karppinen

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 390 scientific journal papers in Nature NanotechnologyNanoLetters, ACS Nano, Angewandte Chemie, Carbon, Energy and Environmental Sciences among others, has a Hirsch-index over 43 and over 7500 citations.  He has given more than 100 keynote and invited conference talks and 200+ talks at world-leading companies and universities. He is considered one of the world's expert 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 and Teicos Pharma Oy.



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

Kuvassa Esko Kauppinen ja Miguel Clüsener-Godt. Kuva: Unesco / Jake Lewis.
Press releases Published:

Professor Esko Kauppinen is the first Finnish recipient of a UNESCO Nanosciences Medal

The award was presented to Esko Kauppinen in recognition of his significant contributions to the development of nanosciences and nanotechnologies. Kauppinen’s research focuses on carbon nanomaterials and carbon nanobuds.
Samples of the colourful carbon nanotube thin films, as produced in the fabrication reactor. Image: Aalto University.
Press releases, Research & Art Published:

Carbon in colour: First-ever coloured thin films of nanotubes created

Researchers present a technique to produce large quantities of pristine single-walled carbon nanotubes in select shades of the rainbow. The secret is a fine-tuned fabrication process—and a small dose of CO2.
Research & Art Published:

Academy of Finland awards seven new projects to the Department of Applied Physics

Grants exceed 3.3 million euros for research in a diversity of physics topics.


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

Department of Applied Physics, NanoMaterials, Surface Science

Roles of sulfur in floating-catalyst CVD growth of single-walled carbon nanotubes for transparent conductive film applications

Publishing year: 2019 Chemical Engineering Journal
Biohybrid materials, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Department of Applied Physics, NanoMaterials

A robust CoxMg1-xO catalyst for predominantly growing (6, 5) single-walled carbon nanotubes

Publishing year: 2019 Carbon
Department of Applied Physics, NanoMaterials

Systematic investigation of the catalyst composition effects on single-walled carbon nanotubes synthesis in floating-catalyst CVD

Publishing year: 2019 Carbon
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

Centre of Excellence in Quantum Technology, QTF, Department of Applied Physics, NANO – Quantum Circuits and Correlations, PICO - Quantum Phenomena and Devices, NanoMaterials

Towards microwave optomechanics using a superconducting carbon nanotube weak link

Publishing year: 2019
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Department of Applied Physics, NanoMaterials, Analytical Chemistry

Immunoassays Based on Hot Electron-Induced Electrochemiluminescence at Disposable Cell Chips with Printed Electrodes

Publishing year: 2019 Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)
NanoMaterials, Department of Applied Physics, Research and Innovation Services, Innovation Ecosystem Services


Department of Applied Physics, NanoMaterials

Silicon Substitution in Nanotubes and Graphene via Intermittent Vacancies

Publishing year: 2019 Journal of Physical Chemistry C
Department of Applied Physics, NanoMaterials

Films of filled single-wall carbon nanotubes as a new material for high-performance air-sustainable transparent conductive electrodes operating in a wide spectral range

Publishing year: 2019 Nanoscale
NanoMaterials, Department of Applied Physics

Is there chiral correlation between graphitic layers in double-wall carbon nanotubes?

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

Research group members

Erxiong Ding

Erxiong Ding

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate
Hua Jiang

Hua Jiang

Department of Applied Physics
Senior Scientist
Esko Kauppinen

Esko Kauppinen

Department of Applied Physics
Mohammad Tavakkoli

Mohammad Tavakkoli

Department of Applied Physics
Postdoctoral Researcher

Saeed Ahmad

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate
Nan Wei

Nan Wei

Department of Applied Physics
Postdoctoral Researcher

Qiang Zhang

Department of Applied Physics
Postdoctoral Researcher
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