Andrei Khlobystov

The Project

Non-covalent assembly of functional nanostructures.


Andrei Khlobystov
University of Nottingham
School of Chemistry
Nottingham, England




Russian Andrei Khlobystov, 30 years old, obtained his M.Sc and Excellence Diploma in Chemistry from the Moscow State University, Russia, in 1997 and his Ph.D from the University of Nottingham, England, in 2001. He was a postdoctoral researcher at Oxford University, England, from 2002-2004. Currently, he is RCUK Academic Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham.



Project Description

Recently the importance of nanostructures(*) such as quantum dots and endorhedral fullerenes for various applications (such as high speed electronics, stable memory elements) has been recognized. Much effort has been placed on learning about properties of isolated nanostructures, but the development and understanding of ordered arrays of these materials has just begun to be explored.

The central aim of this project is to develop a technology for assembling functional networks of magnetically and/or optically active centres whose quantum states can interact with each other over distances exceeding molecular dimensions. The project aims to connect active nano-objects via conducting nanowires through applying coordination and supramolecular chemistry at the nanoscale.

There are three major challenges in the fabrication of such nanostructur

  1. chemical fictionalisation of nanoscopic building blocks for networks,
  2. positional and orientational control of nano-objects on the surface, and
  3. fine tuning of electronic properties of nanowires mediating interactions in networks.

These challenges will be addressed by utilising the versatile coordination and supramolecular chemistry, photo- or electrochemistry on the nanoscale. The new materials are expected to exhibit a range of unusual and testable magnetic, optical and catalytic properties. The metal-directed supramolecular assembly of nanoparticles and nanowires will be used for controlling their alignment. The highly directional coordination interactions between metal functionalised nanoscopic building blocks will allow construction of polymeric architectures with desired topology and geometry.

This novel interdisciplinary approach will advance the understanding of fundamental aspects of self-assembly on the nanoscale, and will produce new materials that are commercially useful for applications, such as memory elements, quantum computing, molecular sensors, or optoelectronic devices.

(*) Definition - nanostructure:
A nanostructure is an intermediate size between molecular and microscopic (micrometer-sized) structures. (Source: Wikipedia)