Wittemann Group

Colloid Chemistry

Modern nanotechnology is a cross-disciplinary field with enormous prospects for the future. The challenge here is to bring different scientific traditions together.
Prof. Dr. Alexander Wittemann

Playing Lego on a Nanolevel

“When you look at our research, imagine a colloidal game of Lego,” suggests Prof. Alexander Wittemann, “where the building blocks are only a few billionths of a metre in size.” The Wittemann team uses such nanoscale building blocks to construct complex, but hierarchical organized structures on the mesoscopic up to the macroscopic scale. These enable the scientists on the team to generate new materials with customised properties. “This requires traversing the complete chain, from the synthesis of suitable nanoparticles to the preparation of nanoparticle assemblies, to the review of possible applications for the new superstructures,” Alexander Wittemann explains.

The research work done by the Wittemann Group is classified as colloid chemistry, with elements of materials science as well as nanotechnology and mesotechnology. The aim is to understand more fully the way functional nanoscopic components self-organise into supracolloidal structures. And the Wittemann Group’s basic research is only a stone’s throw away from its field of application. The team has succeeded, amongst other things, with the synthesis of plasmonic particle clusters from gold nanoparticles – which is highly interesting for surface-enhanced spectroscopy.

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