Interfaces & Kinetics Analysis
The morphology of a surface, and interface or a particle is important for the functionality. Besides, the partitioning of elements laterally as well as depth-wise is a fingerprint of microscopic processes in the materials. We deploy characterization techniques, mostly based on the use of light sources, e.g. plasma. laser, etc., for the micro/nano-probing along with the morphological mapping of solid samples. A particularly challenging activity is that of microscopy in the extreme ultraviolet in the laboratory. The overall goal is to migrate to the own lab science cases that are now only possible at large scale facilities, e.g. synchrotron, through beamtime-limite access.
The kinetics of a chemical reaction is crucial to its relevance for practical applications. A mechanistic understanding of the underlying processes will help to improve the kinetics of such reactions. Starting from equilibrium thermodynamics, we access the elementary physical processes by studying the time dependence of the reactions on time scales ranging from femtoseconds to days. We focus on chemical reactions relevant to energy storage and catalysis applications, investigating solid state phenomena such as atomic and ionic diffusion, and phase transformations, and gas-solid interactions. Due to the compatibility of optical spectroscopy with applications in photovoltaics, solar water splitting, and chemically and optically switchable devices, an important aspect of our research is the study of photon-solid interactions.