Nanostructures and Functional Materials (NAFUMA)
The research group Nanostructures and functional materials (NAFUMA) conducts research in basic inorganic chemistry, solid state chemistry and materials/nano science.
NAFUMA focuses on inorganic functional materials and nanostructures. The main objective is to understand their physical properties on the basis of crystal structure and chemical bonding (electronic structure) and on this background be able to synthesize novel materials with specific properties by design. This implies close integration of experimental and theoretical modeling activities.
NAFUMA has broad activities, streching from synthesis and structure determination to property studies and theory. Materials for energy applications are one common denominator; hydrogen storage materials, Li-ion battery materials, TCOs and conversion layers for next generation solar cells. A second is materials for environmental friendly process technology and catalysis; microporous catalysts for natural gas conversion; metalorganic framework structures MOFs for selective absorption and gas separation, metal-on-support catalysts. NAFUMA prioritizes further fundamental studies on structure, magnetic and electric properties of oxides, and of compounds with main group 15, 16, 17 elements (e.g. magnetic, multiferroic, ferroelectric, or superconducting materials).
The core activities can be summarized under the headings:
- Synthesis of novel materials
- Thin films and nanoparticles
- Crystal structure determination
- Space and time resolved in-situ studies
- Physical properties
- Computational materials science
Advanced synthesis, characterization and modeling tools
NAFUMA holds a battery of advanced synthesis, characterization and modeling tools; powder and single crystal X-ray diffraction (variable temperature, atmosphere, pressure); thermal analysis (TG, TA, DSC); surface and thin film analysis (XPS, BET, AFM; X-ray reflectometer, ellipsometer; nanoscratcher); magnetic characterization (PPMS, MPMS); synthesis labs (ALD atomic layer depositions reactors; controlled atmosphere furnaces; high temperature furnaces; wet chemical and hydro/solvothermal labs; vacuum lines; ball milling, chemical transport two zone furnaces). For computational modeling we use tools like VASP-PAW, Materials Studio package, FHI-Aims, WIEN 2k, CRYSTAL06 etc. These tools enable us to model nanophase materials, thin films, bulk materials and solids with defects.