Our mission is to design, modify and evaluate novel functional materials to advance their application in socioeconomically important fields related to sustainable energy, environment and medicine. We are particularly aiming at unraveling structure-property relationships, unveiling the dynamics of interfacial properties, and identifying key mechanistic steps in catalytic reactions. Our philosophy commends us to synergistically combine advanced synthesis techniques with in-depth fundamental and applied studies on model systems.
Our research covers three pillars:
The materials are tested and evaluated for application related to sustainable energy (e.g. hydrogen production, solar-to-fuel conversion, energy storage, and solar batteries), environment (e.g. water purification, CO₂ reduction, and sensors) and medicine (e.g. bioactive glasses, photooxidation, antibacterial coatings). We manufacture devices, conduct long-time performance tests, design specialized reactors and contribute to metrology development through parametrization and modelling.
The materials are structurally and functionally characterized by a range of state-of-the-art techniques, including spectroscopy (transient PL, CIMPS/EIS, DETPM, IR/RAMAN/DRS, UPS/XPS, solid-state NMR), microscopy (SEM, TEM, AFM), diffraction (WAXS/SAXS) and others (BET/BJH, TGA, DSC, chemisorption). The group is particularly interested in designing model systems uncover reaction mechanisms, early-stage deactivation, adsorption/diffusion kinetics and charge/energy transfer dynamics at solid-solid, solid-liquid and solid-gas interfaces, for which we are developing unique in-situ techniques.
Tailored synthesis of novel functional materials:
Our synthetic efforts These include nanocarbons (CNTs, graphene, aerographite), low-dimensional inorganics (e.g. POMs, 2D materials), metal organic frameworks (MOFs) and micro- and mesoporous materials (oxides, nitrides, zeolites, bioactive glasses) with focus on engineering interfaces (e.g. inorganic-inorganic, nanocarbon-inorganic, nanocarbon-polymer hybrids) and introducing mesopores (e.g. via tailor-made co-blockpolymers). The group has been instrumental in the introduction and development of nanocarbon-inorganic hybrid materials as a new class of functional composites.