The working group develops nanoscaled inorganic materials for use in energy conversion related R&D and nanocomposites in general.
The aim of our activities is an optimized nanoparticle system for incorporation into different matrices.
Based upon our expertise in nanoparticle synthesis and nanochemistry the particle system’s surface chemistry is modified via ligand exchange or encapsulation to yield the needed specific properties for the respective application. Going beyond nanoparticles in pure solvents for laboratory experiments, having a printable ink system consisting of our optimized nanoparticles in a matrix was found to be highly beneficial when discussing future projects and talking to customers. Printing techniques are ranging from screen printing via inkjet printing towards 3D printing.
In the area of electrocatalysis we’re focusing on the advancement of Pt based nanoparticles for use in (direct methanol) fuel cells.
While on the one hand we’re optimizing the particles’ performance by further reducing Pt content, tailoring particle shape as well as the particles’ cristallinity, we’re also looking at optimizing production processes and the associated costs. Here, our goal is to establish a synthesis route for producing high performance nanoparticles in high quantities by replacing the standard batch procedure.
For our R&D activities on spectral energy converter systems we’re employing rare earth (RE) doped nanoparticles for use in lighting (e.g. LED phosphors), photovoltaics, as biomarkers as well as security taggants.
In addition to the optical properties of such RE nanoparticles, we look towards co-doping of these particles, thereby adding a new way of signal detection, e.g. magnetic properties to, the particle systems. These dual probes are highly sought after in the field of life sciences and biomedical applications.
Last but not least we develop and optimize nanoscale materials such as oxides, sulfates, vanadates, as well as phosphates. These particle systems’ properties make them interesting for various applications in a polymeric matrix, i.e. nanocomposites, exploiting their optical properties: scatter centers, contrast agents, high refractive index material etc.