Research Interests

From functional materials to active devices in energy conversion and storage

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des BildesEnergy storage and conversion are currently among the most relevant research topics, since the use of renewable energy sources is elementary for the implementation of plans to reduce CO2 emissions. Energy generation from sun and wind and its electrochemical storage in batteries or fuels, such as hydrogen, demand solutions that need to be improved in both efficiency and scalability. Although substantial progress has already been achieved, many proposed concepts show good efficiencies in laboratory environments, but they are not always easily scalable or too costly to be produced on a larger scale. Our long-term goal is to contribute to the development of solutions in the area of energy conversion and storage, on one hand by developing functional materials using (scalable) solid-state chemical syntheses and simple deposition techniques, on the other hand by increasing the fundamental scientific knowledge about structure-property relationships in energy storage materials.

Active Materials for photoelectrochemical energy storage in solar fuels

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des BildesOxynitrides are examples for very suitable materials for photoelectrochemical water splitting. The development of efficient photoelectrode materials is an important part of our work. In this context extensive characterization is very important, since structure, composition, crystallinity, porosity and transport properties are equally important for photoelectrochemical efficiency. The exact determination of these parameters is necessary in order to understand and improve the activity of electrode materials as a function of the synthesis method. We have already achieved some success, on the one hand through detailed understanding of materials based on broad analysis (XRD, TEM, SEM, photoelectrochemical measurements) and on the other hand through further changes in the synthesis, such as better control of the porosity or change of the charge carrier density by substitution. Protective layers and cocatalysts are key for a well performing photoelectrode. Therefore, the task of developing active materials for photoelectrodes includes the design of suitable photocatalysts and additives in addition to scalable fabrication processes. Together, these elements result in a functioning device.

Conducting networks and electrode structure: Hybrid materials

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des BildesConductive networks play a major role in energy storage devices. Good examples are Li-ion batteries. In order to develop high performance electrodes, not only the active material itself is important, but also the electrically conductive network which establishes the connectivity between (the often insulating oxide) particles. This is why we investigate how electrodes in their entirety are build up. An important task is how connectivity between particles can be established without affecting or even better while enhancing the activity of the functional material. Connectivity networks may be built up choosing of a large variety of materials classes and they can address different length scales. Inorganic inter-particle bridges are often formed on the nanoscale, while layered compounds, such as reduced graphene oxide (RGO) or wires like carbon nano tubes (CNTs), establish long-scale conductivity (micrometer-scale). The synthesis of hybrid or composite materials followed by deposition on substrates is one way, how we fabricate electrodes with conductive networks.

Functional materials for Li-ion batteries and beyond Substrate

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des BildesWe investigate V-containing oxides for their suitability as intercalation hosts for ions like Li+ or Na+ . By changing the intercalation ions, both the intercalation plateaus and the kinetics change. We are interested in understanding the differences in the intercalation mechanisms. This knowledge is used to design better performing cathode materials for post-Li-ion batteries. Extensive physical and chemical characterization is necessary to determine oxidation state and structure changes of the transition metal (compound) as a function of the state of charge of the battery and of the battery type. At the same time, understanding the change in the material during charge and discharge helps to understand potential degradation processes.

  • News
    The Austrian Academy of Sciences has awarded Mag. Dr. Daniel Ehrmann, university assistant and doctoral candidate in the Department of German Studies, four year APART-Grant, which he will start on the1. 3. 2021.During this time he will complete his post doctoral thesis project „Aggregation. Relationaliity and the Constellations of Literature (1650 – 1950). Toward a medium range historical model.
    On the 05th March 2021 Univ. Prof. John W. C. Dunlop is holding a lecture on the topic of zum "Swarming Behaviour in Confinement - How curved surfaces influence pattern formation in biology." The lecture will take place at 14:00/ 2 pm online via Webex. The Department of Biological Sciences cordially invites you to attend.
    There are still many places available in Language Centre courses. Registration is still possible until 12 March 2021. Please note: registration is only possible by appointment.
    The project funding programme for research between PLUS and South East Asian partner universities, ASEA-UNINET Call 2021-2022 (Project implementation period: 1st October 2021 - 30th September 2022) is now open.
    Prof. Dr. Jude Lal Fernando, Assistant Professor at the Irish School of Ecumenics at Trinity College Dublin, will be holding lectures in SS 2021 on the topic of "Interreligious Relations in Asia" at the Centre for Intercultural Theology in the area of Religious Studies.
    The Project Application BioMat-TEM with the total volume of €1,948 million within the Framework of the Infrastructure funding from the Austrian Research Promotion Agenvy (FFG) has been approved.
    The programme for the summer semester is now online and the courses will be released shortly. We have improved our entrepreneurship courses. Register by the 14th March 2021.
    The Centre for Intercultural Theology and the Study of Religions and the University of Fribourg are organising an interdisciplinary online conference from the 16th-17th April 2021 (Start 16th April 2021 at 14:15).
    The restrictions of the pandemic – not only at the university – are becoming even more testing. Thank to everyone who, despite all the difficulties, has helped to keep the university running as best they can.
  • Veranstaltungen
  • 04.03.21 Grenzgänge - Folgen von neuen Grenzen für Arbeit und Unternehmen 4.3.2021
    05.03.21 Swarming Behaviour in Confinement How curved surfaces influence pattern formation in biology.
    09.03.21 Storytelling in der alltäglichen und beruflichen Kommunikation
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