Reactive Fluids: Nanomaterials Synthesis

The Nanomaterials Synthesis team investigates the gas-phase synthesis of nanoparticles in combination with materials characterization and processing. Research is directed primarily at both oxidic materials – mainly in flame reactors – as well as ceramic or metallic nanoparticles in hot-wall and microwave-plasma reactors. Central aspects are the formation of the initial particles, in particular the kinetics involved, and how materials properties can be tailored by modifying the reaction media. Molecular beam sampling coupled with particle-mass spectrometry developed at the IVG enable the correlation of reaction conditions with particle-size distributions. Working in cooperation with the Laser Diagnostics team, optical techniques for in situ measurements are employed to study the effect that reaction conditions and the chemical environment in the reaction mixture have on particle growth, morphology, and composition. Working jointly with the Fluid Dynamics group, the goal is to obtain a better understanding of the synthesis process and thereby make novel processes viable on an industrial scale.

A focus of ongoing work relates to materials that can be used in energy technologies. Topics such as catalysis, electrochemical energy storage, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, and fuel cells are addressed in cooperation with partners in research and industry. This effort constitutes a centerpiece of the work carried out in the NanoEnergyTechnologyCenter (NETZ). Because many of the proposed applications may require large amounts of materials, particular emphasis is placed on sustainability in materials selection – during production as well as in processing and application. The university-associated Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology (IUTA) applies strategies developed by the IVG for nanomaterials synthesis at the pilot-plant scale.

The group contributes to the teaching within the NanoEngineering study program both through lectures and research project in the groups well equipped labs.