The miniaturization of electronic and optic devices has revolutionized response times, energy loss and transport efficiency. An additional bonus is that as one approaches the nanosize regime the presence or absence of a few atoms and the geometrical disposition of each atom can significantly modify electronic and photonic properties. This control can be further supplemented by “packaging” assemblies of atoms or molecules into thin film or nanocomposite bulk materials to define surface states, cluster environment and geometry, intercluster interactions, and consequently, a wide tunable range of optical and charge carrier responses.
The chemist is presented with an intriguing challenge. First the clusters must be unisized with identical geometries. Secondly, the atom or molecular assemblies should ideally have perfect periodicity in order to rigorously define optoelectronic densities and intercluster tunnelling. A third requirement is that the nanocomposite be processable, generally in the form of thin films or single crystals. Numerous approaches are being undertaken in achieve these goals, including molecular beam and atomic layer epitaxy, molecular sieve inclusion chemistry, molecular capping of inorganic clusters, porous glass and aerosol synthesis. This paper presents a brief review of the interface chemistry associated with nanophase confinement and packaging and some features of three dimensional surface confinement using molecular sieves and zeolites.