Wolfgang Kautek: Nanotechnology and critical raw materials

Nanotechnology and critical raw materials, 10th Ludwig Boltzmann Forum 20 February 2018

Wolfgang Kautek, Professor for Physical Chemistry at University of Vienna, Member of Scientific Board of Austrian Research Associations, President of the Erwin Schrödinger Society for Nanosciences (ESG), Chairman of the Research Group "Physical Chemistry" of the Austrian Chemical Society (GÖCh)

Wolfgang Kautek, Professor for Physical Chemistry at University of Vienna, Member of Scientific Board of Austrian Research Associations, President of the Erwin Schrödinger Society for Nanosciences (ESG), Chairman of the Research Group "Physical Chemistry" of the Austrian Chemical Society (GÖCh)
Wolfgang Kautek, Professor for Physical Chemistry at University of Vienna, Member of Scientific Board of Austrian Research Associations, President of the Erwin Schrödinger Society for Nanosciences (ESG), Chairman of the Research Group "Physical Chemistry" of the Austrian Chemical Society (GÖCh)

Modern nanotechnology is rapidly advancing in areas such as digital technologies (e.g. flat panel displays), lighting technologies (e.g. White LED’s), electric mobility (high performance permanent magnets for electrical motors), catalysts (e.g. for car exhaust treatment), and medical diagnostics and therapy. These technologies cause an exponential increase of the demand of Critical Raw Materials (“CRMs”, Fig. 1, Table 1).

Fig. 1: Elements widely used before and after the industrial revolution until present time (© Zepf V., Reller A., Rennie C., Ashfield M. Simmons J., “Materials critical to the energy industry. An introduction”, BP (2014), 2nd edition, ISBN 978-0-9928387-0-6)
Fig. 1: Elements widely used before and after the industrial revolution until present time
(© Zepf V., Reller A., Rennie C., Ashfield M. Simmons J., “Materials critical to the energy industry. An introduction”, BP (2014), 2nd edition, ISBN 978-0-9928387-0-6)
Table 1: Critical Raw Materials  (Examples from European Union 2014, “Report of the Ad hoc Working Group on defining critical raw materials”)
Table 1: Critical Raw Materials
(Examples from European Union 2014, “Report of the Ad hoc Working Group on defining critical raw materials”)

This is in contrast to a world-wide extremely diverse production concentration and mining activities (Fig. 2) leading to supply risks which are influenced by market concentrations, producer governance indicators, substitutability, and recycling rates.

Fig. 2: Countries accounting for largest share of global supply of Critical Raw Materials  (© European Union, 2017: „Study on the review of the list of Critical Raw Materials - Final Report”, doi:10.2873/876644)
Fig. 2: Countries accounting for largest share of global supply of Critical Raw Materials
(© European Union, 2017: „Study on the review of the list of Critical Raw Materials – Final Report”, doi:10.2873/876644)

Therefore, concepts of recourse decoupling, between economic activity and resource use, have to be targeted. Examples of the author’s current research in graphene nanosheets as transparent conductors (Fig. 3) and the laser generation of colloidal nanoparticles for tumor diagnostics (Fig. 4) are discussed in awareness of critical raw material and conflict resources.

Fig. 3: Graphene Electrochemistry (© M. Pfaffeneder-Kmen, F. Bausch, G. Trettenhahn, W. Kautek, J. Phys. Chem. C 120 (2015) 15563–15568; M. Pfaffeneder-Kmen, I. Falcon Casas, A. Naghilou, G. Trettenhahn, W. Kautek, Electrochim. Acta 255 (2017) 160-167)
Fig. 3: Graphene Electrochemistry
(© M. Pfaffeneder-Kmen, F. Bausch, G. Trettenhahn, W. Kautek, J. Phys. Chem. C 120 (2015) 15563–15568; M. Pfaffeneder-Kmen, I. Falcon Casas, A. Naghilou, G. Trettenhahn, W. Kautek, Electrochim. Acta 255 (2017) 160-167)
Fig. 4: Laser ablation synthesis in solutions (LASiS) of dual mode contrast agents for tumor diagnostics (© N. Lasemi, U. Pacher, C. Rentenberger, O. Bomati Miguel, W. Kautek, ChemPhysChem 18 (2017) 1118–1124; N. Lasemi, U. Pacher, L.V. Zhigilei, O. Bomati-Miguel, R. Lahoz, W. Kautek, Applied Surface Science 433 (2018) 772–779)
Fig. 4: Laser ablation synthesis in solutions (LASiS) of dual mode contrast agents for tumor diagnostics
(© N. Lasemi, U. Pacher, C. Rentenberger, O. Bomati Miguel, W. Kautek, ChemPhysChem 18 (2017) 1118–1124; N. Lasemi, U. Pacher, L.V. Zhigilei, O. Bomati-Miguel, R. Lahoz, W. Kautek, Applied Surface Science 433 (2018) 772–779)
Wolfgang Kautek, Professor for Physical Chemistry at University of Vienna, Member of Scientific Board of Austrian Research Associations, President of the Erwin Schrödinger Society for Nanosciences (ESG), Chairman of the Research Group "Physical Chemistry" of the Austrian Chemical Society (GÖCh)
Wolfgang Kautek, Professor for Physical Chemistry at University of Vienna, Member of Scientific Board of Austrian Research Associations, President of the Erwin Schrödinger Society for Nanosciences (ESG), Chairman of the Research Group "Physical Chemistry" of the Austrian Chemical Society (GÖCh)
Konstantin Saupe, Wolfgang Kautek, Gerhard Fasol (left to right)
Konstantin Saupe, Wolfgang Kautek, Gerhard Fasol (left to right)
10th Ludwig Boltzmann Forum 2018, Tuesday 20 February 2018 at the Embassy of Austria in Tokyo
10th Ludwig Boltzmann Forum 2018, Tuesday 20 February 2018 at the Embassy of Austria in Tokyo
10th Ludwig Boltzmann Forum 2018, Tuesday 20 February 2018 at the Embassy of Austria in Tokyo
10th Ludwig Boltzmann Forum 2018, Tuesday 20 February 2018 at the Embassy of Austria in Tokyo
10th Ludwig Boltzmann Forum 2018, Tuesday 20 February 2018 at the Embassy of Austria in Tokyo
10th Ludwig Boltzmann Forum 2018, Tuesday 20 February 2018 at the Embassy of Austria in Tokyo

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