Hans-Gerd Boyen

“Exploring new pathways towards molecular electronics”

Hans-Gerd Boyen was born in 1957 in Germany. He obtained a Master of Science in Physics in 1986, a PhD in Physics in 1990, at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, and a Habilitation in Physics in 1995 at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

The granted project is entitled: “Exploring new pathways towards molecular electronics”. Molecular electronics has evolved into one of the fastest growing areas in nanoscience because it has the potential to supplement and finally replace the well established, silicon-based technology. As a vision, at the ultimate limit of miniaturization, nanoscaled organic entities (single molecules, small groups of molecules) with tailored physical and chemical properties will act as, e.g., electronic switches, as memory cells or sensor for biomolecules. Just to give a few examples, nanoscaled organic entities can offer the prospect of fabricating ultra-high density electronic circuits as components of molecular computers or van be applied as molecular electronics to detect functional bio-molecules as the single-molecule level. For molecular electronics to become reality, however, all basic factors controlling, e.g., the charge transport across a metal-molecule-metal junction or the interaction between individual molecules in biosensor applications need to be established. Therefore, new experimental and theoretical concepts are required in order to interrogate how factors such as metal-molecule coupling, molecule-molecule coupling, the molecular structure and the choice of electrode materials finally influence the characteristics of the desired molecular devices. In the project, new pathways will be explored aiming: to improve our basic understanding of phenomena related to the attachment of metal electrodes to molecules in molecular junctions; to find new strategies for the utilization of self-assembly of molecular structures to increase the packing desity of nanoscaled electronic units by means of cost-effective parallel processes; and to manipulate functional biomolecules depending on the interactions between each other.

Hans-Gerd Boyen has an excellent track record. A wide spectrum of domains is covered with his publications. A series of ground-breaking papers appeared, that led to publications in the top journals, such as Science, Nature Materials, Advanced Materials and Physical Review Letters. Since april 1, 2007, Hans-Gerd Boyen is appointed as a research professor at the University of Hasselt, where he will carry out this research project. The quality of the proposal is outstanding and the approaches are smart. The results of this research will certainly increase the international visibility of the University of Hasselt.