The NANEL joint exchange project aims to establish long-lasting research cooperation between Portuguese, Bulgarian, Belgian, Belarusian and Russian scientists in the field of electrochemical synthesis of advanced nanostructured materials. The collaborative consortium joins together a critical mass of the expertise available in the involved groups. The partners bring the complementary experiences and experimental facilities which are essential for effective development and testing of the nanomaterials for to be applied in sensors and photovoltaics. Mutually beneficial transfer of knowledge will be implemented through an intensive exchange program between six partner organizations.
The main technical objective of the project is development of novel functional nanomaterials for sensors and solar cell applications on the basis of ordered nanoporous anodic oxides. The main scientific novelty of the project is functionalization of the porous anodic oxides, such as alumina or titania based ones, via electrochemical or electrophoretic ways using non-aqueous electrolytes. Ionic liquids and molten salts will be used as prospective candidates for the electrolytes. The electrochemical synthesis of nanomaterials has several important advantages because of relatively low costs and fine control of the process parameters. The suggested approach will confer creation of new ordered functional nanomaterials via electrochemical routes which are not possible in water-based electrolytes. Use of non-aqueous solution confers significant advantages for specific materials which are not stable in presence of water or can not be electrodeposited because of the relatively narrow electrochemical window of water.