Site: National Taiwan University (NTU)
1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd.
Taipei, Taiwan ROC

Date Visited: 16 April 1997

WTEC: D. Shaw (report author)



NTU is widely considered to be the most prestigious university in Taiwan. The first university on the island, established nearly 100 years ago, it is also the most renowned and the most competitive university in Taiwan. NTU alumni play key leadership roles in all levels of government, industry, and academia. I met with about a dozen professors from various departments (Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics, and Electrical Engineering) and had an informal exchange of information on nanoparticle technology.


During the discussions, it became clear that R&D on nanoparticle technology is generally new on campus. All five departments are considered to be large departments, having more than 50 faculty members. Most of the research in the Electrical Engineering Department covers traditional silicon-based IC processing with some limited optoelectronic device studies. Research programs on submicron photoresistance are being initiated by the Department of Chemical Engineering, while programs on quantum lasers are being conduced by the newly established Institute of Optoelectrical Engineering.

A project in the Chemistry Department is of interest to nanostructure scientists: "Synthesis and Application of Mesoporous Molecular Sieves" (Project Principal Investigator, Prof. C.Y. Mou; Co-Principal Investigators, Prof. S.F. Cheng, Prof. P.Y. Wan, and Dr. S.P. Liu). The investigators have successfully synthesized mesoporous aluminosilicate MCM-41, which consists of hexagonal arrays of nanometer-sized cylindrical pores (Science 1996, 273:765). As illustrated in Fig. E.1, a liquid crystal phase-transformation mechanism was used for formation of the nanostructure. The complex tubules-within-a-tubule structure is now being explored for various applications, including catalysis, separation technology, and optoelectronics (Fig. E.2).


Besides the mesoporous membrane project discussed above, the related nanoparticle/nanostructure projects at NTU are generally in their early stages. There is, however, a considerable amount of interest in this research area. The Institute of Optoelectrical Engineering is very well equipped and is staffed by a group of enthusiastic graduate students. Most of the projects under consideration are related to the development of silicon IC devices.


Figure E.1. Proposed mechanism for the formation of the microtubular morphology of MCM-41. (A) Mixed lamellar-hexagonal membrane phase. (B) Acidification leads to membrane curvature. (C) Neutralization bends the membrane into tubules. (D) The membrane consists of a hexagonal array of cylindrical micelles.

Figure E.2. Molecular conducting device.

Published: September 1999; WTEC Hyper-Librarian