Posted: June 24, 2009

Danish-Chinese cooperation fuels nanotechnology research

(Nanowerk News) Danish and Chinese researchers are making advances in the world of nanotechnology as they work together to develop electronic components. The fruits of their labour will contribute to fuelling the electronic, energy and communications industries.
The researchers from the Nano-Science Center and Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Sciences, said their collaboration has exciting prospects particularly because the research field of molecular electronics is expanding quickly.
'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,' explained Thomas Bjørnholm, a Professor at the 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,' said Professor Bjørnholm, who is the director of the Nano-Science Centre.
The researchers working at the new Center for Molecular Nano-electronics have been quoted as saying that they anticipate many opportunities for development in their field of study. For example, the development of chemically manufactured computer electronics in nano size will become a reality, they said, adding that such a development will allow them to create a new type of computer.
The collaborating researchers are also targeting the creation of molecules with the capacity to convert heat to electric currents in the long run. Heat emitted by cars or factories could be utilised in this way, for example.
Besides their cooperation in these projects, the Danish and Chinese researchers are working to establish a common study programme. This would consist of exchanges between students and young researchers. Such an activity would increase and sustain the exchange of Danish and Chinese students and researchers.
Cooperation between the two countries is not new; two Danish nanotechnology students travelled to China in 2007 to study for two months. According to them, the study visit to Beijing was a great cultural experience and initiated interesting research.
'I worked using methods developed by my advisor and was allowed to work very independently, even though many of the Chinese researchers in the research group worked on the basis of predetermined routines,' Mikkel Marfelt said. 'It was very interesting to learn his techniques and I got some good results out of it – actually better than their own.'
The latest project is backed by the Danish National Research Foundation.
Source: European Commission
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