This course covers the area of solid inorganic high-tech materials (synthesis, properties, applications). Materials such as porous catalysts, neoceramics, liquid crystals, isolators, semiconductors, conductors and superconductors will be discussed in detail and compared with classical materialsl. Also chemical processes are dealt with leading to advanced materials with improved chemical, physical and/or mechanical properties. An introduction will be given to the interesting field of ‘nanochemistry’; procedures for the preparation of nano-building units are described and how these building units can be organized in order to obtain ordered complex functional systems.
Interesting applications of the advanced materials will be overviewed on the basis of some important case-studies. Examples are (i) the use of titania as a photocatalyst to develop self-cleaning building materials; (ii) the application of neoceramics for human bone- and tissue engineering; (iii) the construction of flat screens (mobile phones, television, PDA) based on liquid crystals and plasmatechnology.
Current problems and future challenges in the synthesis of new advanced materials will be evaluated.
A site visit to the laboratories on materials research at VITO, Mol will be organised.