Many chemical compounds show different physical properties on a nano-scale compared to the macromolecular world. The decoding of these processes generates new knowledge that is of essential importance in many areas – for example, in technical applications such as ultrafine sensors, extremely dense data storage devices or novel micro-magnetic and self-illuminating components.
The exploration of the nano-scale worlds requires a multidisciplinary approach. NanoBiC brought together the four key disciplines nanotechnology, biology, chemistry and computing. The four-year research project, which started in 2009, involved scientists from chemistry, physics and materials science at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, the Technische Universität in Darmstadt, the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH (Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research) in Darmstadt and the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies. Within the framework of NanoBiC (Nano, Bio, Chemistry and Computing) it was possible to offer an ideal setting for a wide range of collaborative sub-projects. The central theme was the effect of high-energy radiation on objects in the nanometer range.
With a total sponsorship of 3.6 million euros over four years, NanoBiC had two main project areas: firstly, to examine how it is possible to construct functional elements exactly according to a blueprint – such as transistors, sensors, quantum dots or storage elements; secondly, to explore the effects of cosmic radiation on human cells in more detail – this is of great significance for manned space missions, for example.