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05: Nanotechnology

Alpbacher Hauptschule
Breakout / Working Group
german language

Apart from biotechnology nanotechnology is considered to be one of the key technologies of the 21st century. It will have far-reaching consequences on science, industrial development and the development of new products and will therefore be highly important for a successful economic development in the coming decades. Nanotechnology deals with the production, investigation and application of structures, molecular materials, inner surfaces with critical dimensions or product tolerances between a few to about one hundred nanometres. Most industrial branches become increasingly aware that being in control of the structural and functional properties of new materials on a nanometre scale will be the key to technological progress and new products for conquering new markets. A prerequisite for this is interdisciplinary knowledge of principles and methods of nanotechnology, which are based on the classical natural and technical sciences like solid state physics, biology and chemistry. For this reason nanotechnology is to be seen as a highly interdisciplinary science that requires us to cross the borders between the individual disciplines mentioned. This working group will discuss various aspects of nanotechnology together with representatives from science and industry.


Ordentlicher Professor und Geschäftsführender Direktor des Instituts für Metallkunde an der Universität Stuttgart, gleichzeitig Mitglied des Leitungskollegiums und stv. Geschäftsführender Direktor des Max-Planck-Instituts für Metallforschung, Stuttgart Abstract
Nanomechanics of biological and artificial attachment devices

Mechanics rules biology: living systems rely for their survival, to a large extent, on mechanical functions. This is true on the level of cells, which adhere to substrates in controlled and dynamic ways and are known to communicate by mechanical means. It also applies, on the molecular level, to folding and unfolding processes, which may be viewed and studied as mechanical events. Another important case is the adhesion of various animals, e.g. beetles, flies, spiders, and geckos, to surfaces during locomotion. These animals exhibit fibrous attachment organs which are finely-structured down to micron and sub-micron dimensions. The micro and nanomechanisms of adhesion in these animals are still under debate.

We have in a broad interdisciplinary study investigated the structure and function of these contact elements on the micro and nano level by microscopical and nanomechanical techniques. Local mechanical properties and adhesion forces were measured by novel test methods and compared with predictions based on theoretical contact mechanics. Structure, size and shape of the contact elements are found to play important roles; in particular the principle of "contact splitting" has been identified: finer contact elements (down to sub-micron level) produce larger contact forces in heavier animals. The insight gained in studying biological systems can be transferred to the development of optimized artificial attachment devices. From our findings, the desired mechanical parameters of attachment structures can conveniently be delineated in newly-developed adhesion design maps. Based on these investigations, a clearer strategy for producing optimum bio-inspired attachment structures is beginning to emerge.

The possible impact of these studies is manifold: Controlled adhesion is important in everyday life and in technological applications, e.g. in sticky tapes, car tires, wafer bonding or micro-objects in the packaging industry.  Intelligent adhesion which is reversible and does not lead to alterations of the surfaces involved (as in conventional adhesives) is potentially of great pratical interest. Largely through  bio-inspiration and trial and error, first prototypes of such artificial contact systems have recently been designed in the laboratory.

This research direction has, under the name of  biomimetics or  bionics , gained much momentum and popularity in recent years. Learning from nature is however not a new concept. Especially since Leonardo da Vinci, mankind has profited, consciously or subconsciously, from close observation and exploitation of natural processes. Biomimetic design can however not be based on merely  copying natural solutions; a thorough understanding of biological principles is required to find technical solutions specifically adapted to a particular application. Only recently has it become possible to characterize and explain the mechanical performance of bio-mechanical device on the micron and sub-micron scale. The case of the gecko has taught us that miniaturization down to the nano-scale has far-reaching consequences for the macroscopic properties  even in natural systems.

This talk describes and summarizes our recent investigations into the nano and micromechanics of biological attachment devices. First, the relevant concepts of contact theory, especially concerning the size and shape dependence of van der Waals contact forces, are developed. Miniaturization down into the nanometer range is an essential strategy but there are principal limitations which can be conveniently described by the new  adhesion design maps . Recent micromechanical measurements of adhesion forces for single gecko spatulae and of mechanical properties of biological adhesion systems are then described. For this, novel test techniques have been developed which allow testing e.g. inside a focussed ion beam system. Overall, our study underscores the need to understand the several variables involved in forming an adhesive contact system for repetitive, reversible use. The optimum contact requires a balance of contact element size, shape and material, all of which are dependent on one another. The transfer of these principles into possible technical applications is currently underway.

This paper describes the results of several studies performed at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research. They would not be possible without the biological expertise of my colleagues S. Gorb, J. Schuppert, and S. Niederegger. Materials scientists involved are R. Spolenak, G. Huber, U. Wegst, S. Orso, C. Eberl, and H. Pfaff. Fruitful discussions on theoretical aspects with H. Gao are also greatly appreciated.


E. Arzt, S. Gorb and R. Spolenak, From micro to nano contacts in biological attachment devices, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 100:19, 10603 (2003)
G. Huber, S. Gorb, R. Spolenak and E. Arzt, Resolving the nanoscale adhesion of individual gecko spatulae by atomic force microscopy, Biol. Lett. , Royal Society, 2005
R. Spolenak, S. Gorb and E. Arzt, Adhesion design maps for bio-inspired attachment systems, Acta Biomaterialia 1, 5-14 (2005)
R. Spolenak, S. Gorb, H. Gao and E. Arzt, Effects of contact shape on the scaling of biological attachments, Proc. Roy. Soc. A, in press (2005)
Head, Business Unit "Nano Systems"', Department Health & Environment, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Vienna Abstract
Magnetic nanostructures for sensor and memory applications:
Status quo and trends

Magnetic and magnetic related sensor research and development has been undergoing a quiet revolution, promising to have significant impact on a broad range of applications relating to security, health care, the environment, energy, food safety, nondestructive failure analysis and manufacturing. The advanced biological, chemical and materials research is also bringing new bloods for the area, including the design of functional nano- and meso-scale complex structures.

In contrast to the sensors, magnetic memory development has gained relatively much publicity. Magnetic hard disk heads and MRAM (magnetic random access memory) are prominent examples of magnetic nanoscale objects which crossed the river from basic research to device application in only a few years. Despite of the clear intention of the industry to introduce more of the projected devices the next year(s), basic mechanisms are still unclear, like the contribution of scattering at defects, magnons and phonons to the tunnel current or the magnetic switching behavior of elements in the size range of 100 nm. Nevertheless, there are much more possibilities ahead in the area of magnetoelectronics and spintronics.

A consequent development - after memory - is the implementation of magnetic tunnel junctions in logic devices. Magnetic logic devices are announced to be another lucrative market by argumentations resting on the same advantages as MRAM technology. The non-volatile character allows a reprogrammable and reconfigurable logic. Especially tempting is the fact that memory and logic are then based on the same technology platform. This opens the unique opportunity to build up a unified system on a single chip. Furthermore, magnetic tunnel junctions are promising sensors for magnetoresistive biochips, which are capable to detect even single molecules by means of functionalized magnetic particles. These magnetic particles are used as labels of biomolecules like DNA and can be detected by magnetoresistive sensors.

This contribution addresses novel ideas and open basic questions in selected areas of magnetic nanoscale devices. This includes the development of magnetic logic, System-on-Chip, biochips, pacemakers, magneto-acoustic sensors and pressure-sensitive devices, for example.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AVL List GmbH, Graz Abstract
Anforderungen an die Nanotechnologie in Antriebssystemen für nachhaltige Mobilität

Die Anwendung der Nanotechnologie stellt bei der Entwicklung zukünftiger Antriebssysteme eine besondere Chance dar. Sie wird in Zukunft helfen, den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die Schadstoffemissionen und das Geräusch zu senken.
Nanotechnologie als Architektur kleinster Strukturen bietet Potentiale für Themen wie Reibungsverminderung, einen effizienteren Verbrennungsprozess und alternative Antriebssysteme:
Reibung wird durch Grenzflächenphänomene, also molekulare Wechselwirkungen, bestimmt, die Effizienz des Verbrennunsprozesses durch Präzision im Mikrometerbereich, die dafür notwendige Aktorik und Sensorik ist ohne Engineering im Nanobereich nicht darstellbar.
Als alternative Antriebstechnologie steht die Brennstoffzelle im Fokus: Deren Leistungsfähigkeit wird durch die Wechselwirkung einer Membran mit umgebenden Medien bestimmt, die notwendigen Diffussions- und Adsorptionseigenschaften werden durch Veränderung von Molekülkettenteilen gestaltet.
Somit kann in mehrfacher Weise die Umweltverträglichkeit und Funktionsfähigkeit von Fahrzeugen durch den Einsatz der Nanotechnologie deutlich verbessert werden. Weiters ist zu erwarten, dass hierdurch Materialverbrauch und Kosten reduzieren werden. Selbstverständlich müssen weitere Aspekte wie Herstellprozesse, Dauerhaltbarkeit, u.a. gelöst werden, bevor die Nanotechnologie in der Produktion von Antriebssystemen mittelfristig zum Einsatz kommt.
Dazu ist es notwendig, dass frühzeitig die Anforderungen der Industrie an die Nanotechnologie definiert und gemeinsam mit der orientierten Grundlagenforschung kooperative F&TE Initiativen gestartet werden.
Finmeccanica Professor and Robert Bosch Chair of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford Abstract
Nano Scale Technologies for Future Power Generators

The unparalleled performance of today's computer technology was enabled by revolutionary changes in micro fabrication technology. In particular, the seemingly endless down scaling of characteristic feature dimensions of electronic components from a few microns down to a few tenth of a micron allowed the realization of processors with operational frequencies ranging from the megahertz to the gigahertz frequency regime. During the last decade or so, design ideas and fabrication methods from the world of micro electronics have started to inspire other disciplines. As an example consider the field of MEMS (Micro Electronic Mechanical Systems). MEMS takes advantage of existing micro electronic fabrication techniques for creating miniature devices such as sensors, actuators, and, in the future, power generators. While the benefits of down scaling in microelectronics are obvious - smaller processors operate at faster speeds - the ramifications of down scaled mechanical devices are less apparent.

This talk will focus on the opportunities of MEMS technologies for the creation of next generation power devices such as fuel cells. In particular, we shall discuss recent results on the benefits of thin film membranes with a thickness of a few hundred atomic layers embedded in a fuel cell structure. Thinner membranes contribute towards improved power efficiency and comparatively lower operating temperature.

Finally, we will draw analogies between fuel cells and the way biological cells power themselves. The possibility exists that nanoscale electrodes may be used to directly extract electrical energy from organelles separated by thin biological membranes.
Direktor und Wissenschaftliches Mitglied, Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung, Stuttgart Abstract
Einstein s Nobel Prize and Modern Nanoelectronic

The Einstein Year 2005 marks the centenary of Einstein s three publications which changed the way we understand our world. His paper about the photoelectric effect, which formed the basis for his Nobel Prize in Physics 1921, was the starting point for discussions about the wave-particle duality in nature and the development of quantum mechanics.
Today, nanoelectronics is the ideal playground to investigate and to apply in a controlled way quantum phenomena and to prove different  Gedankenexperimente discussed by Einstein.
It is generally accepted, that the scaling law for the miniaturization of microelectronic devices breaks down if the wave nature and the discrete charge of electrons or tunneling phenomena dominate the electronic properties. These quantum phenomena do not mark the end in the miniaturization of devices but open the possibility to create new devices with new functions where for example the energy quantization of electrons in confined structures, tunnel phenomena through barriers and single electron charging of small islands play an important role. The roadmap in nanoelectronics mention new devices like resonant tunneling diode, single electron transistor, quantum cellular automata or nanotube devices. Up to now it is not clear, whether the top-down process in miniaturization will be successful in nanoelectronics or whether molecular systems and self organized structures will be combined with standard CMOS technology.
Carbon nanotubes seem to be an interesting building block for applications in nanoelectronics and some new developments in this field will be presented. The main part of the talk will discuss the most important technologies for the preparation of semiconductor nanostructures and the new properties of these devices if quantum phenomena become important
Leiter des Christian-Doppler-Laboratoriums "Advanced Functional Materials", Technische Universität Graz Abstract Chair
The Impact of Nanotechnology on  Every day Life

The scope of nanotechnology is vast but in technical terms it is most easily summarised as the technology of processes, structures and devices that operate on a scale of between one ten millionth of a millimetre and one ten thousandth of a millimetre. Such a technical description is easily understood by scientist and technical staff  but to reach broad acceptance there is a need to translate the terms to how this will influence our  every day life in the future. Based on the  working group contributions the participants will discuss important issues of general concern in a podium discussion taking place after the individual contributions.

Dr. Eduard ARZT

Ordentlicher Professor und Geschäftsführender Direktor des Instituts für Metallkunde an der Universität Stuttgart, gleichzeitig Mitglied des Leitungskollegiums und stv. Geschäftsführender Direktor des Max-Planck-Instituts für Metallforschung, Stuttgart

1972/1973 Rotary-Austauschstudent an der Coral Gables High School und University of Miami, Florida (USA)
1974-1980 Studium der Physik und Mathematik, Universität Wien, 1980 Promotion zum Dr. phil.
1981/1982 Mitarbeiter, Universität Cambridge
1982-1989 Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am MPI für Metallforschung, Stuttgart
1989/1990 Visiting Professor, Stanford University
  Leitungskollegiums und Direktor am Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, Stuttgart
seit 1990 Ordinarius für Metallkunde (Metallphysik) an der Universität Stuttgart, gleichzeitig Mitglied des
1996/1997 Visiting Professor am Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2003/2004 Geschäftsführender Direktor des Max-Planck-Instituts für Metallforschung

Dr. Hubert BRÜCKL

Head, Business Unit "Nano Systems"', Department Health & Environment, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Vienna

1992 Experimental Ph.D. in physics at the University of Regensburg
1992-1994 Postdoctoral fellow at the Technical University of Darmstadt
1994-1998 Head of a research group at the IFW in Dresden
1998-2004 Senior scientist at the University of Bielefeld
2004-2005 Associate Professor at the University of Bielefeld
seit 2005 Head of Business Unit "Nano Systems" at AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Prof. Helmut LIST

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AVL List GmbH, Graz

 Studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Graz
1966 Joined AVL, a company for design and development of internal combustion engines, founded by his father in 1948
1967 Graduation in mechanical engineering at the Graz University of Technology, Graz; Head of blood gas analysers development project, in cooperation with Prof. Karl Harnoncourt
1969 Responsible for the production of electronic and precision instruments and prototype engines; Introduction of product management, better market orientation of product development and set up of a network of representatives in import and export markets
1970 Vice President AVL - Head of Instrumentation Division
since 1979 Chairman and CEO, AVL List GmbH
1984-1986 President, Austrian Physical Society
since 1992 Honorary Consul, Republic of Korea for Styria; Chairman, Research and Technology Committee, Federation of Austrian Industry
1994-1997 Member, IRDAC Industrial Research and Development Advisory Committee for the EU, Brussels
1994-2003 Board of Directors, VOEST Alpine Technologies
1995 Elected Fellow, SAE Society of Automotive Engineers
1997-1998 Chairman, IRDAC Industrial Research and Development Advisory Committee, Brussels
1998-2002 Member, EAG European Advisory Group "Land transport and marine technology"
1998-2004 Board of Directors, AMS Austria Micro Systems
2000 Foreign Associate, NAE National Academy of Engineering; Chairman, AEBF V Asia Europe Business Forum V
2001-2007 Member, EURAB I and II European Research Advisory Board of the EU, Brussels
2001-2008 Chairman, EARPA European Automotive Research Partners Association, Brussels
2002-2006 Chairman, SSTAG Sustainable Surface Transport Advisory Group, Brussels
2002-2010 Vice-Chairman, ERTRAC Road Transport Research Advisory Council, Brussels
2003-2013 Chairman, University Board, Graz University of Technology, Graz
since 2007 Chairman, Austrian-Russian Business Council

Ph.D. Friedrich B. PRINZ

Finmeccanica Professor and Robert Bosch Chair of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford

 Co-Director, Stanford Integrated Machining; Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
 Design and prototyping of micro and nanoscale devices for energy and biology. His group studies transport phenomena across thin oxide layers and lipid bi-layers with the help of Atomic Force Microscopy combined with Impedance Spectroscopy.
1975 PhD, University of Vienna - Physics (1975)


Direktor und Wissenschaftliches Mitglied, Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung, Stuttgart

1962-1969 Technical University Braunschweig Diploma in Physics
  Tellurium in Strong Magnetic Fields" (Ph.D. in 1972)
1969-1980 University Würzburg (Prof. Dr. G. Landwehr), Thesis work about: "Galvanomagnetic Properties of
1978 Habilitation
1984 Professor at the Technical University, München
 Honorary Professor at the University in Stuttgart
 Research stays in: England (University of Oxford)
  France (High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Grenoble)
  USA (IBM Research Lab., Yorktown Heights)
since 1985 Director at the Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung, Stuttgart

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Emil J. W. LIST

Leiter des Christian-Doppler-Laboratoriums "Advanced Functional Materials", Technische Universität Graz

1990 Beginn Physikstudium an der TU Graz
1995-1996 Napier University Edinburgh U.K. (Erasmus Stipendium)
1996 Bachelor of Science (Honours Degree), Napier University Edinburgh (First Class Honours)
1998 Diplomprüfung (mit Auszeichnung) TU Graz
2000 Rigorosum (mit Auszeichnung) TU Graz
2003 Lehrbefugnis für das Fach Festkörperphysik (Habilitation)
2001-2003 Vertragsassistent am Institut für Festkörperphysik der TU-Graz
seit 2003 Vertragsdozent am Institut für Festkörperphysik der TU-Graz
seit 2002 Leiter des Christian-Doppler-Laboratoriums "Advanced Functional Materials"
seit 2005 Konsulent der JOANNEUM RESEARCH

Technology Forum

show timetable


10:00 - 12:00Technology brunch sponsored by Tiroler ZukunftsstiftungSocial
13:00 - 14:00OpeningPlenary
14:00 - 15:30Our futurePlenary
16:00 - 18:00Location of science and research - a global shift?Plenary
20:00 - 21:00SecurityPlenary
21:30 - 23:45Evening reception sponsored by Alcatel AustriaSocial


Junior AlpbachBreakout


09:00 - 15:00Working Group 01: Technology and location strategies for enterprisesBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 02: Electronic carBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 03: Science of everyday productsBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 04: Security of energy supplyBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 05: NanotechnologyBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 06: From scientific journal to breaking news: science and the mediaBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 07: Fuel cells and hydrogen - the future of transport?Breakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 08: European strategies for international research cooperationBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 09: Excellence - a question of genderBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 10: Converging technologiesBreakout
16:00 - 16:45University/industry interaction - The Atlantic picturePlenary
16:45 - 17:30University/industry interaction - The Austrian solutionPlenary
17:30 - 18:00University/industry interaction - Political ConclusionsPlenary
18:00 - 20:00Reception sponsored by Province of Lower AustriaSocial
20:00 - 21:00The science of saving VenicePlenary


09:00 - 10:30Politics and SciencePlenary
10:30 - 11:30Science at the cutting edgePlenary
12:00 - 12:15Alpbach 2005 - Resumée Junior AlpbachPlenary
12:15 - 13:00Reflections and PerspectivesPlenary
13:00 - 14:30Farewell reception sponsored by Microsoft AustriaSocial