Advanced Colloidal Materials Engineering

The group deals with colloidal materials synthesis with emphasis on porous sol-gel inorganic compounds such as metal oxides, oxide/metal hybrids and carbons. Primary development efforts are targeting synthesis, characterization & numerical modelling of physical properties with the goal to advance novel applications of porous materials with custom tailorable porosity.

Key Projects

Some of the key projects activities are highlighted below:

Resin based carbon materials:

  • Development of carbon sorbents for thermally driven heat-pump technology (NFP-70 “THRIVE” project)
  • Use of tailored carbons for electrochemical energy storage (batteries, supercaps, fuel cells)
  • Extension of carbon aerogel synthesis activities, incorporation of other coprecursors, pursuing new collaborations in energy applications


Inorganic oxides and oxide/metal composite materials:

  • Novel anode supported Empa approach for SOFC cells by combining porous sol-gel anodes with aerosol assisted CVD electrolytes (DePoLa project)
  • Aerogel based sorbents for ambient air CO2 trapping
  • Direct capture of CO2 and direct conversion to methane using translucent aerogel-like photocatalyst materials
  • Metal doped silica aerogels (Cu@SiO2, Ni@SiO2), first tests / catalytic model studies
  • Conducting oxides (Nb doped SnO2) for improved electrical conductivity of perovskite base photocatalytic water splitting prototype devices


Thin films and coatings:

  • Electrochromic and photoelectrochromic thin films for EU FP7 Winsmart project (
  • Gasochromic films based on tungsten oxide active layers
  • Various sol-gel-based inorganic oxide and organic/inorganic oxide hybrid thin films with precise control over physical / surface properties, use of thin film technology for detection and sensing applications.