Scientist at the Scanning Kelvin Probe_Copyright: F. Vinken

Independent Research Groups

The main research field of the independent research group "Nanoanalytics and Interfaces" is the in-depth characterization of novel nanostructured materials and interfaces via electron microscopy techniques. State-of-the-art transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and its analytical methods such as electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) are applied to obtain information on the atomic arrangement and chemical composition. The results are used to determine growth models for nanostructures and structure-properties relationships. In addition, strategies are developed to improve the properties and increase the stability of the materials of interest. The investigated materials systems find applications in photovoltaics, fuel cells and electrochemical cells. In addition, thin films used for metal contacts and as protective layers are studied. [more]
The development of improved electrocatalysts for renewable energy technologies and synthesis of industrially important materials are held back by the current lack of information on favorable catalysts properties. This Group aims at dissecting the influence of compositional and structural material properties to eventually overcome this issue and provide clear criteria for reaction-specific rational catalysts design. To this end, we systematically alter the relevant materials’ properties, such as composition, grain size, surface facets and porosity, and investigate their efficiency.
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