Nanomaterials - NAM -

Nanostructuring of materials provides access to new combinations of physical properties. In this field, the group's current focus is on sol-gel-based nanoporous materials which have, both, a three-dimensionally interlinked solid phase and a three-dimensionally interconnected pore phase. Parameters which can be adjusted with regard to different applications are the chemical composition of the solid phase (currently: silica, organic/inorganic hybrids, organic materials, and carbons derived therefrom), the total porosity, the average pore size and pore size distribution, the specific surface area, and the properties of micropores ( < 2 nm) present.

In this field, the Nanomaterials group is involved in the following topics:

  • Synthesis of materials in monolithic and powder form as well as of thin layers composed of nanoporous inorganic, hybrid organic/inorganic, or organic materials (including precursors of synthetic carbons), and composites derived therefrom
  • Characterisation of nanoporous materials and development of novel or adapted analysis methods particularly suitable for the characterisation of nanoporous materials
  • Modelling of nanoporous materials
  • Applications for nanoporous materials in electrochemistry, thermal insulation, adsorber/filter

Head of Group:
Dr. Gudrun Reichenauer
Magdalene-Schoch-Straße 3
97074 Würzburg
Tel.: +49 931 70564-328
Fax: +49 931 70564 -600

Assistant Head of Group:
Dr. Christian Scherdel
Magdalene-Schoch-Straße 3
97074 Würzburg
Tel.: +49 931 70564-315
Fax: +49 931 70564 -600

Services & Equipment


Provision of model materials

  • Synthesis of nanoporous materials (as powders, monoliths, gradients, composites) as model materials for systematic research on the influence of structural parameters (e.g. specific surface area, micropore properties, meso- or macropore size, porosity) on the properties in a target application (e.g. thermal insulation, frequency dependence of the electrical storage capacity, ...)


  • Thermal post-treatment of materials under a variety of atmospheres at up to 1,250 or 1,800 °C (under argon atmosphere)

Structural characterisation

  • Porosity (micro- and mesoporosity)
  • Pore size distribution
  • Specific surface areas (total, external)
  • Particle sizes, also in dispersions or other two-phase systems
  • Density measurements of the non-porous phase with helium pycnometry
  • Typical appearances (visualisation of the structure)
  • Chemical composition

Determination of

  • Vapour isotherms (water and other vapours)
  • Gas permeation (including gas mixtures) through barrier films, sealings, and porous materials


  • Methods for characterising electrochemical systems, determination of specific capacities and frequency-dependent resistances


  • Analysis of gas composition up to an atomic mass of 200 (in combination with various equipment)
  • Determination of mechanical properties of gels (Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio) and small (including irregularly shaped) solids



  • Sol-gel synthesis laboratory
  • Autoclaves for supercritical drying, system for defined ambient pressure drying
  • Tube and chamber furnaces for processes in air or defined atmosphere (up to 1,250 °C) and under inert gas (up to 1,800 °C)

Structural characterisation

  • Scanning electron microscope with EDX, option for electron-beam lithography, hot stage up to 1,500 °C, tensile/compression testing module
  • Gas adsorption systems with optional sample holders for in-situ dilatometric analysis (gases and vapours)
  • Helium pycnometry
  • Dynamic light scattering for analysis of particles sizes < 6 μm
  • • Small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (structures < 100 nm, suitable for solids, powders, and systems in liquids; method also suitable for in-situ measurement)
  • Beam bending on liquid gels

Water uptake & gas transport

  • Precision balance for determination of water uptake and water vapour diffusion
  • Climate chamber with balance (water vapour sorption kinetics in plates)
  • Gas permeation equipment for analysis of gas transport through porous materials
  • Setup for determination of solution diffusion in barrier films/sealings


  • Cyclic voltammetry
  • Impedance spectroscopy (10 μHz – 250 kHz)
  • Constant current cycling
  • Glovebox (organic electrolytes)
  • Cells for half and full cell measurements (with in-situ dilatometry option)
  • 4-point setup for determination of electrical conductivity

Further analytics

  • Mobile mass spectrometer for gas analysis (mass numbers up to 200 amu)
  • Ultrasonic time-of-flight measurements for determination of Young's modulus

ZAE Bayern

We conduct applied research at the interface between basic science and industrial application. Our methods and systems aim to achieve CO2 neutrality and thereby counteract climate change through the intelligent and efficient use of renewable energies.

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