Understanding and controlling combustion processes and the synthesis of nanomaterials in the gas phase is at the center of the research performed by Professor Schulz and his 45-member group. Nanoparticles with tailored properties are synthesized in flames, plasmas, and wall-heated reactors in the Nanomaterials Synthesis team. The work is aimed at the development of new materials, in particular for use in energy technologies. Research also includes laser-based techniques for in situ measurements of concentration, temperature, droplet and particle size, as well as velocity in reactive flows. The Laser Diagnostics team conducts fundamental research on new measurement techniques. These techniques are also employed by the Internal Combustion Engines team in engine test cells that are equipped for optical in situ measurements to shed light on in-cylinder processes. The Kinetics team uses shock tubes to investigate reaction rates and mechanisms in combustion, ignition, and particle formation. By coupling shock-tube reactors with optical and mass-spectrometry it is possible to investigate ultra-fast processes at high temperatures in the gas phase. In their research, the interdisciplinary team composed of engineers, chemists and physicists works closely with other groups at the IVG.
In addition to publicly funded fundamental research, these topics are also addressed in collaboration with numerous partners from industry. These investigations are directed towards materials synthesis, practical combustion in piston engines and gas turbines, petro-chemistry, and the development of measurement strategies.