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“Reproduced with permission from Nano Letters 2020 20 (3), 1808-1818; copyright American Chemical Society.”

The COMPASS project significantly enlarged the nanocrystal material platform and the related applications. From the material side, the synthesis of the more traditional dichalcogenide nanocrystals was significantly advanced by, for example, developing a library of selenourea precursors for their synthesis, and by the demonstration of upscaled fabrication through robotized processes. Our advances on surface functionalization and self-assembly of the particles have led to films with improved properties, such as in the upconversion of the emitted light, in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), solar concentrators, and in biomedical applications. Water-soluble and bio-compatible polymer beads have been developed that can be used as carriers for light emitting, plasmonic, and magnetic nanoparticles, which enabled to combine different functionalities, such as tracking, guiding, and treatment (via hyperthermia) into single object.

COMPASS also contributed strongly to the advancement of colloidal metal-halide perovskite nanocrystals which emerged only recently as a promising material. Here the COMPASS team developed several synthesis protocols and methods for increasing their stability in different environments, including ion-exchange methods, the use of different amines as ligands, 0D to 3D transition mechanisms, two-dimensional layered perovskites, and lead-free double perovskite structures. Applications of these materials in LEDs and lasing structures, solar cells, photodetectors, and in catalysis could be demonstrated as a proof of concept. The photophysics of these materials was studied in great depth, and the gained knowledge led to the design of novel photonic and plasmonic systems that could be employed to boost their performance in optical applications.

So far, the COMPASS project resulted in 58 high-impact publications and several patent applications.

More than forty researchers were involved in the scientific exchanges of COMPASS, and the project could contribute significantly to the advancement of their careers by enabling them to gain prestigious postdoc and professor positions. COMPASS provided dedicated training to the staff of the partner institutions by the secondments itself, and via several invited seminars and one internal workshop. The project organized a symposium dedicated to the Colloidal Nanocrystal Materials at the Applied Nanotechnology and Nanoscience International Conference (ANNIC) in Berlin in 2018 that was open to the whole scientific community. The project strengthened the scientific community in Europe that work on nanomaterials for a sustainable future.