Nanophysics, nanotechnology and materials science

Nanotechnology exploits material properties which are markedly different from the behavior observed on macroscopic as well as on molecular scales as explored by chemistry and atomic physics. In the 10-100 nm submicron regime new phenomena emerge opening new, so far hardly accessible routes to the design and fabrication of nanodevices with novel functionalities as well as to the engeneering of individual material parameters.

The utilization of nanotechnology in electronics, optics and computation has brought an exploding development to these fields while its share is rapidly increasing also in medical and environmental sciences as well as in energetics. Its impact is naturally emerging in the manufacturing of high intellectual added value products and, at the same time, it can stimulate a breakthrough also in mass production. By bringing the internationally well recognized research activities in natural sciences and the long-standing tradition in technological developments at the BUTE together we focus on the following three areas:

  • In the area of nanoelectronics we aim at the fabrication, experimental and theoretical studies of novel nanodevices which provide both a challenge in basic research in terms of the understanding of new phenomena replacing the macroscopic properties and promising possibilities in potential applications in electronics. Beside the routine application of up-to-date nanotechnological processes we also plan to develop fabrication methods for special purposes including binding molecules to atomic chains or self-assembly of various nanostructures. The highlighted research areas are graphene based circuits, spintronics and molecular electronics.
  • Our research in surface nanostructures focuses on the development and qualification of novel surface treatment and coating methods. The planned surface analytical, thin layer growth and electron beam lithography facilities provide a firm background for the fabrication and measurement of the nanostructures studied in the framework of the project. We investigate the possibilities of the potential applications in a wide range from solar cells and chemical sensors to medical instuments. Our further goal is the development of non-invasive nanostructure qualifying methods and setups with broad prospects of potential applications.
  • In the area of the structural and functional materials we plan to utilize the favorable properties of nanoparticles for special purposes and to study the so-called active nanostructures including bio-sensors and bio-compatible nanostructures designed to carry targeted pharmaceuticals. The latter require a careful design based on the detailed knowledge of their nanoscale processes followed by a bottom-up functionalization.

The infrastructural background of the above research activities is provided by the BUTE Laboratory Network where major developments in the instrumentation funded on the basis of recently awarded grant applications are underway. A long-term objective is the establishment of a joint central nanotechnology laboratory in Building Q2 operated in liaison with the HAS Institutes.

The intellectual background is based on the internationally recognized and renowned researchers of the University including those talented young colleagues who work as supervisors at various research fields. The involved undergraduate and graduate students as well as the doctoral candidates also play a significant role in research. Based on the concentrated project resources, we plan to provide a ‘start up’ support to retain pre-eminent young researchers in the country and to encourage and facilitate the return of researchers with outstanding success gained during their foreign postdoctoral period.

The utilization of the novel achievements in nanotechnology may provide revolutionary solutions also for various current economical challenges. The introduction of modern solutions may guarantee the competitiveness and market expansion of small and medium size enterprises. Multinational companies applying state-of-the-art nanotechnology solutions are already present in Hungary and they need highly qualified professionals. Collaborations with industrial partners are indicative of setting up the training and research profiles and are decisive in the industrial utilization of the nanotechnology research outcomes.

Innovation results can also be utilized in spin-off ventures closely related to the University. The primary task of these enterprises is to market the research results achieved at the University and to set up their independent profile after a period of incubation. International examples demonstrate that the research area of ‘Nanophysics, nanotechnology and materials science’ provides an optimal background for the foundation of such spin-off ventures.