11 June 2009

Power to Danish-Chinese nano-cooperation

The Danish National Research Foundation has awarded 15 million kroner to a new Danish-Chinese research centre for molecular nano-electronics.

Since 2006, Chinese researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Danish researchers from the Nano-Science Center and Department of Chemistry of University of Copenhagen have been working together to develop electronic components of 'plastic', which in the long term can be used in the electronic, energy and communications industries. The work has now been supported by the Danish National Research Foundation, with research centres being established in both capitals.

Ideal framework

The research field of molecular electronics is experiencing rapid development, and the collaboration between Danish and Chinese top researchers has exciting perspectives.

'The new centre is an ideal framework to exchange researchers and equally importantly, research students, creating the best possible foundation for a fruitful research partnership,' says Professor Thomas Bjørnholm, leader of Nano-Science Center at University of Copenhagen.

'Now we have the opportunity to work together with some of the world's best scientists in the area of molecular nano-electronics. We have different research related expertise in Denmark and China, and by working together we will be able to complement each other.'

Molecules and computers of the future

Researchers at the new Center for Molecular Nano-electronics have high expectations for the development opportunities in their subject. They expect, for example, that in the future they will be able to develop chemically manufactured computer electronics in nano size, enabling them to create a whole new type of computer.

In the long term, the researchers aim to be able to create molecules that can change heat to electric current, for example from wasted heat from cars or factories. In addition to the research-related aspects there will be an emphasis placed on developing a common study program, with student and young researcher exchanges. The ambition is to ensure a constant exchange of Danish and Chinese students and researchers.