Functional Materials Group


Renewable energy conversion and storage are relevant topics in applied research today, since the use of non-fossil energy sources is essential for the reduction of CO2 emissions. Solar and wind energy harvesting combined with chemical energy storage in batteries or fuels like hydrogen are essential processes, which need to be improved in efficiency, long-term stability and scalability. Our goal is to contribute to the development of cost effective scalable solutions for energy conversion and storage.

Latest Publications

Scaling Up Electrodes For Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

A scalable fabrication process for particle-based electrodes for solar water splitting was developed. Demonstrator-size photoanodes exhibited complex performance changes related to electrode size. Scale-up of photoelectrochemically active electrodes needs careful consideration in terms of size and device geometry.

Local photocurrent density


Inauguration Lecture of Prof. Simone Pokrant on Monday, June 17 at 16h15.

further details can be found in the invitation leaflet.

Article "Scaling Up Electrodes For Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting" On Frontcover Of "ChemSusChem"

Barrierefreiheit: Kurzbeschreibung des Bildes

Great success for the Functional Materials Group. Their article "Scaling Up Electrodes For Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting" (see section Latest Publications) was selected as front cover story in the science magazine "ChemSusChem". The magazine, released by the Wiley-VCH publishing house (Germany) on behalf of ChemPubSoc Europe, publishes scientific articles concerning interdisciplinary research at the interface of chemistry, material science, sustainability and energy. It has an impact factor of 7.7 and is ranked at place 18 of 157 magazines worldwide in the field of interdisciplinary chemistry.

Valerie Werner und Daniela Reiff

Research Should Be Meaningful for the Future

Daniela Reiff and Valerie Werner are PhD students in the group of Functional Materials. Knowing that there are many problems to solve concerning climate change and energy technology, it’s important for them that their research is more than just interesting for themselves.

Daniela Reiff, why did you decide, to do your Phd studies in the Laboratory of Functional Materials?

Daniela Reiff: The focus of my work is on developing batteries. It is a topic concerning nearly everybody in the every-day life, which makes it so interesting for me. Also it is an open field on which a lot of research can still be done. I like that very much.

And what about you, Valerie Werner?

For me functional materials are currently more interesting than structural materials. I’m doing research on developing electrode material for solar water splitting as a means of sustainable hydrogen production. There is great potential in this field and so it is also a safe step in my professional future.

Daniela Reiff, what would you like to achieve with Your research? You can also talk about your phantasies.

(Smiling) Well, if one day, batteries are standard in cars, in mobility in general, this would be great for me. If later on I can say «I worked on that», when people are talking about the importance of batteries in renewable energies this would be fantastic.

And what are your research dreams, Valerie Werner?

It would be great if we could find out something that rises efficiency of solar water splitting. Because this is the limiting factor. And to see its application one day – not only on the laboratory scale – this would be phenomenal (smiling).

So you are working for the future of the planet. What do you do exactly at the moment, Daniela Reiff?

We are experimenting with the material of batteries cathodes, while the lithium anode remains as usual. Normally the cathode is made out of cobalt, we take for example vanadium. The aim is to increase the battery power.

And you, Valerie Werner, what’s your occupation?

I will start with my Phd studies officially in March. Therefore I’m busy with putting all of the equipment together, ordering necessary parts and so on. After that I will begin to synthesize and characterize electrode material.

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