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The aim of the priority programme is to develop concepts for the production of novel multifunctional inorganic materials with a tailor-made nanoscaled structure. Industrial demands on future technologies have created a need for new material properties which exceed by far those of materials known today and which can only be produced by designing the material structure at a nanoscale. Furthermore, the increasing miniaturisation of components calls for new process technologies allowing reliable production of materials at and below a micrometre scale. In particular inorganic-organic hybrid materials as well as amorphous and polycrystalline ceramics are to be used as material classes and produced by means of cross-linking routes in various states of condensation. In accordance with the so-called “bottom-up” approach, specific inorganic molecules are to be assigned to higher molecular networks and solid-state structures in the form of molecular nanotools by means of condensation and polymerisation processes. This method aims at linking organic components to inorganic structures producing materials inaccessible by thermodynamically controlled chemical syntheses. Therefore, the experimental studies will focus on the development of solids derived from molecular units via kinetically controlled synthesis processes in the interface between molecular and solid-state chemistry enabling specific adjustments to the solid-state properties. Thus, the ultimate objective of the priority programme is to systematically study the “bottom-up” approach with regard to the synthesis and exploration of novel materials in order to establish the technological fundamentals for the development of these new materials and their potential use. Possible fields of application for materials produced at a nanoscale are key technologies of the 21st century such as transport systems, information technology, energy as well as environmental systems and micro or nano electromechanical systems. The correlation between the structure of the molecular precursors and the nanostructure of the derived materials and their properties will provide the focal point for detailed experimental studies.

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