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 https://gamechangers.aalto.fi/en/).

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 (http://www.canatu.com), MetalCirc Oy (https://www.metalcirc.com/)and Teicos Pharma Oy (www.teicospharma.com). Professor Kauppinen is the first Finnish recipient of a UNESCO Nanosciences Medal, which he received 2018.

Research

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

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.
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.

Facilities

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

Computational Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, NanoMaterials, Department of Applied Physics, Electrochemical Energy Conversion
Publishing year: 2020 Applied Catalysis B: Environmental
Department of Applied Physics, NanoMaterials, Surface Science
Publishing year: 2019 Chemical Engineering Journal
Department of Applied Physics, Soft Matter and Wetting, Biomolecular materials, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Active Matter, Surface Science, NanoMaterials, Molecular Materials
Publishing year: 2019 ADVANCED OPTICAL MATERIALS
Department of Applied Physics, NanoMaterials
Publishing year: 2019 Journal of Physical Chemistry C
Department of Applied Physics, NanoMaterials
Publishing year: 2019 Nano Research
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Paper Converting and Packaging, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Biohybrid materials, NanoMaterials, Department of Applied Physics, Analytical Chemistry
Publishing year: 2019 Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry
Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Department of Applied Physics, NanoMaterials, Analytical Chemistry
Publishing year: 2019 Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Department of Applied Physics, NanoMaterials
Publishing year: 2019 Carbon
Department of Applied Physics, NanoMaterials
Publishing year: 2019 Science Advances
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database

Research group members

Hua Jiang

Hua Jiang

Department of Applied Physics
Senior Scientist
Esko Kauppinen

Esko Kauppinen

Department of Applied Physics
Professor
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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