Lay summary
The development of a future nanotechnology requires clear-cut, efficient and reliable synthetic pathways to building blocks for nano-device fabrication, such as anisotropic particles with nanoscale dimensions or tailor-made molecular entities. Transition metal oxides play an essential role in these processes, because they exhibit a multitude of key properties that lead to their manifold applications, for example in catalysis, photochromic systems, battery materials and sensor technology. Although their subsequent transformation into anisotropic nanomaterials is an essential step towards technical implementation, the related synthetic techniques frequently rely on serendipity. The same holds for polyoxometalates (POMs) as another important class of transition metal oxide-based materials that are versatile building blocks, e.g. for bio-inorganic and magnetic materials. We aim for straightforward synthetic strategies towards anisotropic transition metal oxides and novel POMs that permit their controlled preparation in larger amounts for technical scale-up. The systematic synthesis of novel fluorinated polyoxometalates is a hitherto unexplored branch of POM chemistry. They will subsequently be employed for the production of composite materials in the next stage of the project:The preparation of hybrid materials from fibrous transition metal oxides, POMs and naturally occurring fiber materials (such as glass sponges) combines the outstanding mechanical and biocompatible properties of bio-inorganic substrates with the vast technological potential of transition metal oxides. This opens up an unexplored research area. Parallel to the development of these functional materials, novel synthetic approaches will be explored. The exceptional preparative flexibility of hydrothermal methods will be combined with equally versatile techniques (microwave, ultrasound, ionic liquids) to create synthetic synergisms with a high impact on the efficient production of nanomaterials and composites.Thus, a variety of preparative techniques, including conventional or high-throughput hydrothermal syntheses and room-temperature deposition/coating routes will find application. Moreover, the elucidation of selected mechanistic pathways to key materials will be in the focus of our investigations that are supported by a wide network of cooperations in the field of in situ spectroscopic techniques. The same goes for the characterization of the emerging anisotropic and composite materials, e.g. in the field of battery and sensor technology.