Nanoscience is one of the driving forces behind development of new technologies for instance within energy and health. China and Denmark have both invested massively in nanoscience and nanotechnology and put a huge focus on combatting some of the world’s problems within e.g. health and energy.

The theme is strongly connected to two Centers of Excellence, which build upon close relations to Chinese research groups from Chinese Academy of Science: The National Centre for Nanoscience and Technology and Institute of Chemistry, both situated in Beijing.

The nanoscience research area within the framework of SDC deals with many aspects of nanoscience from synthesis, self‐assembly, characterisation and theoretical understanding of surface‐bound functional molecules to synthesis of nanomaterials, which have new thermoelectric properties, as well as the possibilities for allowing molecules and other nanostructures to take part in electronic circuits.

The theme is built on the basis of positions of strength and common interests within five subthemes.

Functional Nanomaterials

Materials composed of nanosized structures may possess novel physical, chemical or biological properties that can be utilized to perform specific functions unattainable with conventional materials.

The availability of such functional nanomaterials is likely to revolutionise industrial manufacturing capabilities and capacities. Therefore, the ability to design and synthesise such materials with desired functionality is a key element for nanotechnology.

The role of nanoscience in this context is to procure the necessary scientific knowledge base to ensure successful implementation into technology. This requires a detailed understanding of the fundamental properties of nanostructures, which can be achieved only through a close interplay between theory and experiment.

Self assembly of molecular nanostructures

One of the major fundamental challenges within the area of nanoscience is to learn the basic mechanisms behind the assembly of nanoscale materials. Organic molecules and other nanosized materials such as nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes have a variety of fascinating properties, which may be useful in, e.g. molecular electronics, optics, and molecular mechanics. However, today there are still no simple and efficient methods for assembling individual components into functional devices such as electronic circuits, photonic networks, or nano‐robotics.

Nano energy materials

A large scale transition to renewable energy sources is dependent on major scientific and technological breakthroughs. Important research areas include solar cells, hydrogen technology, wind energy, gas conversion, synthetic diesel, biofuels and so forth. A key element in all of these research areas is the development of novel materials with new and improved properties. In other words the key to the development of technologies for a sustainable energy supply lies in the ability to characterize, design and control materials.

With the new capabilities offered by nanotechnology to control materials at the atomic level, the potential for materials design has vastly improved. By designing new materials atom by atom, completely new classes of materials with properties not found in any known materials can be created.


Nanomedicine is a rapidly emerging new research field with exciting possibilities for generation of new scientific concepts for improvement of quality of life through the development of novel strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The driving force for nanomedicine is the fact that nanoscience and associated nanotechnologies can be merged with the biomedical sciences in a clinical setting, which results in a radically novel approach to combat human disease. The focus areas are nanoparticles for drug delivery and bioimaging, regenerative medicine and nanofunctionalised soft and hard implants, nanodrug design and nanobiosensors.

Nanoelectronics and -photonics

The miniaturization of the current Si-based electronics will most likely come to an end within 1-2 decades. Some of the visions within the field of nanoelectronics and nanophotonics are to make logical elements from individual molecules and efficient optical components based on nanocrystals. Major challenges within this field are to assemble molecules or nanocrystals on predefined nano-templates and to create interconnects between functionalized units. 

PhD students

SDC PhD students play an important role in the research collaboration. They all work with both a Danish and a Chinese supervisor, do research in both countries and contribute to teaching the Master’s programmes at SDC in Beijing. This close connection provides the PhD students with a unique opportunity to establish personal and professional relationships and bring Danish and Chinese research environments closer together.

Principal Coordinators

Morten Foss

Senior Researcher

Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center

Aarhus University


Phone: +45 87 15 67 13

Wang Chen


National Center of Nanoscience and Technology

University of Chinese Academy of Sciences


To discuss proposals for research activities, which can strengthen SDC's activities within the research area or the related Master’s programme, please contact the Principal Coordinators.

MSc in Nanoscience and Technology

PhD students

View Sara Hvidbjerg Laursen's profile at

Sara Hvidbjerg Laursen

Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University

Topic: Steering cellular phenotype via protein nanopatterns for in vitro screening assays

Starting date: 1 February 2024

View Ivar Gunnarsson's profile at

Ivar Gunnarsson

Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen

Topic: The CISS effect and magnetism

Starting date: 31 December 2023

View Nikita Kochnev's profile at

Nikita Kochnev

Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University

Topic: Ion release and nanotopographical modifications of TiO2 sol-gel

Starting date: 1 March 2023

View Sara Vogt Bleshøy's profile at

Sara Vogt Bleshøy

Department of Chemistry and Nano-Science Center, University of Copenhagen

Topic: Deciphering intracellular drug delivery pathways through single particle tracking

Starting date: 1 March 2023

View Frank Høgh Schulz' profile at

Frank Høgh Schulz

Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen

Topic: Single-particle tracking techniques for observing nanoparticle internalization in living cells

Starting date: 1 November 2022

View Christina Schøttler Nielsen's profile at

Christina Schøttler Nielsen

Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen

Topic: Design and synthesis of molecular electron donors and acceptors for organic photovoltaics

Starting date: 1 October 2021

View Freja Liebach Guttesen's profile at

Freja Liebach Guttesen

Condensed Matter Theory, University of Copenhagen

Topic: Controlling electron transport through single molecules

Starting date: 1 March 2021

View William Magnus August Ravn Harding's profile at

Magnus August Ravn Harding

The Globe Institute, Section for Geobiology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Topic: The Origin of Life from a Nanogeobio perspective

Starting date: 5 December 2020

View Stefan Pendlmayr's profile at

Stefan Pendlmayr

Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University

Topic: 3D bioprintingfor creatingliver mimicking bionic tissue

Starting date: 15 December 2020