Latest SCI publications

Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-08-01 - 2022-07-31

Quantum dots (QD) are high-performance materials for optical conversion applications, such as color-generating layers in displays. The next generation of displays and other optoelectronic devices the formulation of quantum dots with high volume fraction in organic liquids, which can be printed, for example, on LEDs in LCD and micro-LED displays. Such quantum dot inks are not yet on the market and pose a particular challenge for perovskite QDs (PQDs) because they are unstable, non-uniform in size, and incompatible with organic matrices in their raw state. BrightComSol has pioneered molecular surface coatings and production methods for formulating PQDs in high viscosity polymer plastic systems with high volume fractions. We will build on this technology to develop a surface coating and synthesis method to disperse PQDs in typical ink formulations. Through a combination of resizing PQDs in the presence of such ligands and optimizing the ligands, we will realize formulations of PQDs that are colloidally stable for printing over the long term. Our new ligands and formulations will create dense shells around the small PQDs. Part of the shell will stabilize the PQD surface and crystal structure, and the other part will provide compatibility with the ink liquid. We will characterize the dispersions, from the properties of the as-synthesized PQDs to the colloidal stability to the optical properties of the ink dispersions. Our academic partners at BOKU will assist us in the selection and synthesis of novel ligands that optimize the stability of the PQDs and PQD dispersions based on their molecular architecture and physicochemical properties.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-11-01 - 2026-10-31

Research context / Theoretical framework Controlling and understanding adhesion of cells on artificial surfaces remains as a critical topic in materials and life sciences. In this regard, combination of top-down (contact printing) and bottom-up approaches (ATRP polymerization + layer-by-layer adsorption of polyelectrolytes and proteins) appears as a promising strategy for the design and fabrication of cell-appealing interfaces. Interestingly, this methodology allows going from 2D to 3D-like hierarchical structures of hybrid content (niches) that influence a subsequent cell attachment on top, by better exposing the specific binding sites (RGD, IKVAV moieties) towards target membrane receptors (i.e. integrins, CD44). Complementary use of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), with a living cell as probe, together with Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (QCM-D), will enable an early-stage analysis and quantification of these cell-substrate interactions on the nanoscale. Hypotheses/ Research questions / Objectives The main hypotheses of the project are the following: i) Combination of substrate-anchored polymer brushes and layer-by-layer deposited polyelectrolyte chains give rise to soft 3D niches for the enhanced adsorption of ECM proteins. The transformation of 2D interfaces into 3D-like architectures will, in turn, enhance cell attachment and proliferation of cells, with particular impact on both cell morphology and the number of cell-substrate connections formed; ii) The use of Contact-Printing techniques before the grafting-from of the brushes allows the fabrication of localized individual 3D attachment points. The localized presence of specific molecules will influence the cell-substrate affinity with final impact on cell morphology and the establishment of a different number of cell-surface contacts; iii) Single-Cell Probe Force Spectroscopy (SCPFS) technique is sensitive enough to identify early stage attachment events in cell-substrate contacts. The use of a living cell acting as indenting probe will determine events taking place on the nano- and microscale. Approach / Methods The following methods will be used to study substrate preparation and cell adhesive behaviour: Atomic force microscopy (AFM) in SCPFS mode, (confocal) fluorescence microscopy, quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCMD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and cell culture protocols.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-08-01 - 2024-04-30

Nanomaterials and other innovative materials (advanced materials) offer interesting application possibilities and functions. They are therefore increasingly being used in new products and in many industrial sectors. However, the possible undesirable consequences must also be carefully studied and evaluated. The accompanying project to NanoTrust-Advanced investigates safety and risk-relevant aspects of nanomaterials and advanced materials, which are regularly published in the established NanoTrust dossiers and fed into the national Nanoinformation Commission of the Ministry of Health, the working group on nano-worker protection of the AUVA or the standardization group "Nanotechnology" of the Austrian Standards Institute. The inter- and transdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and experience that takes place here at many levels and in numerous committees thus contributes to the safe and sustainable development of these new materials.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations