Research of Reichenberger Group

Research Topic of the junior research group. From left to right: A picture of colloids from gold and silver, REM-pictures from supported nanoparticles, a photograph of the same grey powder, a photograph of uv-luminescence of a colloid.

Research Topics and Projects of our Group

Our junior research group focuses on the extraordinary properties of laser-generated nanoparticles for energy applications. Energy conversion depends on nanomaterials with active surfaces. Thus, new materials with large and clean surfaces are required. For this purpose, pulsed laser ablation in liquids (PLAL) is a promising process to fabricate ligand-free nanoparticles with high purity, controlled size distribution and a wide variety of materials. 

​The laser-based synthesis enables a simple upscaling of nanoparticle generation. The laser-generated nanoparticles are used to fabricate heterogeneous catalyst by colloidal deposition on carrier materials in a continuous process with a quantitative yield. For these heterogeneous catalysts no further activation steps such as calcination is necessary due to the additive-free surfaces. This also allows the use of these materials as model catalysts to harmonize the experiments with a theory model. But also a long-term stability (process stability) at high temperature can be realized.

The aim of our group is the replacement of cost-intensive precious metals in heterogeneous catalysts for instance by nickel or copper-based alloys. Our method enables us to tailor pure and stable heterogeneous catalysts for a given application by variation of Nanoparticle and carrier material.
Laser synthesis yields extremely pure catalysts.

​​We offer:

  • Ligand-free and functionalized nanoparticles for catalysis and energy research
  • Pure nanoparticles made of user-defined material from noble metals to semiconductors, e.g. Pt, Pd, Ni, NiO, Cu, CuO, alloys …
  • Tailored heterogeneous catalysts: Supporting of laser-generated nanoparticles to almost any carrier material with a high mass loading, e.g. Carbon, TiO2, ZnO, …
  • Nanoparticle characterization using methods such as analytical disc centrifugation (ADC), UV-Vis spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS) including zeta potential or cyclic voltammetry



Synthesis is as easy as irradiating a target with light.

Current Projects:

  • Kontaminationsfreie Herstellung und Aufbereitung lasergenerierter Nanopartikel in einer kontinuierlichen Prozesskette für die heterogene Katalyse (KontiKat) (Contamination-free synthesis and purification of laser generated nanoparticles in a continuous process chain for heterogeneous catalysis)
  • Synthesegestützte Einstellung der Sauerstoffdefektdichte für halbleiter- und spinellbasierte selektive Oxidationskatalysatoren - SESOX (Synthesis-assisted adjustment of oxygen defect density for semiconductor- and spinel-based selective oxidation catalysts)
  • Using transport properties of supercritical fluids for deposition of laser generated nanoparticles in porous materials - In cooperation with Hochschule Niederrhein (Prof. Cleve, Institut für Lacke und Oberflächenchemie) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (Prof. Barcikowski, Technical Chemistry I)
  • Safe and Amplified Industrial Laser Processing (Sailpro)
  • Entwicklung eines neuartigen Katalysators mittels Laserablation zur Generierung von Iridium-Nanopartikeln auf oberflächenmodifizierten Keramikträgern für den effizienten Einsatz in PEM-Elektrolysezellen (LIKELY)


Past Projects:

  • Integration und Applikation von ligandfreien und kontrolliert ligandenfunktionalisierten Nanopartikeln in der Katalyse (INNOKAT) (Integration and application of ligand-free and controlled ligand-functionalized nanoparticles in catalysis)
  • Laser based synthesis and application of ligand-free gold clusters for heterogeneous catalysis and energy storage reactions (PhD scholarship M. Sc. Ina Haxhiaj, Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt) - in cooperation with Prof. Barcikowski, Technical Chemistry I



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Synthesis of a gold colloid by laser ablation in liquids

An exemplary video shows the setup and most basic way we synthesize nanoparticles. Shown here is the production of a gold colloid


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Supporting gold colloid on Titanium Dioxide

This video shows how supporting gold nanoparticles on titanium dioxide works and how the product can act as an optically active catalyst in water splitting.