Our research interests center on the preparation and characterization of new coordination polymers/metal-organic framework with industrially relevant properties in catalysis, adsorption and separation, sensing properties and energy related applications. The research group is also interested in inorganic-organic hybrid materials in general and selected nanoparticle composite materials. The main activity of the research group is within materials discovery and crystal structure determination, characterization of the material’s fundamental chemical properties, and deduction of the corresponding structure-property relationship, frequently with the help of time-resolved synchrotron X-ray diffraction measurements.
Master theses are available for a variety of subjects within the topics of materials science the research group is active in. We are very much interested in synthesis of new materials with interesting properties for application in catalysis, adsorption and separation, renewable energy, and as sensors. The most promising materials are characterized more in depth using a variety of methods, like X-ray diffraction (including in-situ experiments performed at a synchrotron), simultaneous thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry coupled to mass spectrometry, and advanced gas and vapor adsorption and chemisorption.
One research focus is on coordination polymers (also known as metal-organic frameworks), which are inorganic-organic hybrid materials. Coordination polymers are interesting in many areas of application. For instance, they frequently have regular pores of <3 to 20 Å (i.e. 0.3-2 nm) which make them interesting materials for adsorption and separation processes, e.g. for CO2 capture or gas and liquid purification. They can also be functionalized to carry catalytic functions or act as sensors.
In addition, we are engaged in research of nanoparticles on supports, e.g. metal supported catalysts. The interest there is to prepare materials with a narrow size distribution of the nanoparticles and investigate the effect on catalytic properties.
Master theses can span quite a wide range from synthesis to advanced characterization of materials. Most theses will contain most of these tasks to a certain extent. However, it is often possible to put the emphasis on the area a student is most interested in. For instance, students who are mainly interested in experimental synthetic work, a thesis subject may be predominantly concerned with discovery of new materials. On the other hand, a thesis can also be geared more towards thorough characterization of a material. The synthetic part of such a thesis will then play a minor part. It will usually consist of preparing an already known compound for in-depth investigation by the various characterization techniques.