Hannoveraner Materialforschende arbeiten mit neuem Großgerät

Materials researchers in Hannover work with new large-scale equipment

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© Nico Niemeyer/PhoenixD
PhD students Marina Rosebrock (left) and Hadir Borg use the X-ray photoelectron spectrometer to examine the surface of a sample of assembled nanoparticles at Leibniz Universität Hannover. 

Scientists at Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) have inaugurated a new X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) in the Laboratory of Nano and Quantum Engineering. The Swedish physicist Kai Siegbahn was once awarded the Nobel Prize for developing this experimental investigation method. Today, the large-scale device is used to chemically analyse various surfaces, from soft matter such as polymers to inorganic solids such as semiconductors and metals. It enables researchers to determine the elemental composition of the surface as well as the chemical environment of the respective elements. 

The investigation and development of new materials is an essential building block for optics and photonics research, one of the main areas of work at LUH. The Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry and the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry operate the 1.19 million euro facility. The federal government and the state of Lower Saxony financed the new XPS in equal parts. Scientists and companies can carry out their own measurements, for example on surface changes caused by oxidation processes or ageing processes, or commission them from the two institutes. 

The XPS device is highly sensitive and works non-destructively in the top five nanometres of a sample, says Prof. Dr. Dirk Dorfs from the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, who is also a member of the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD. In addition, he says it offers Auger electron spectroscopy, ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy, and an argon cluster gun for ablating the sample surface, especially for soft samples and a heatable sample chamber as other functions. "Due to its many different structural as well as electronic characterisation methods, the device enables broad usability for various questions," says Dorfs. "This is particularly important for the interdisciplinary training and research of young scientists in chemistry, physics or the engineering sciences."

At LUH, optics researchers are working on realising complex optical systems in a short development time using modern manufacturing processes for a fraction of today's price. An elementary prerequisite for this is novel optical composite materials consisting of glass, plastics and nanomaterials, among others. Other important classes of materials that can be characterised with the device are metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and colloidal nanocrystals. "The comprehensive investigation of these new materials is needed in many cases," says Prof. Dr. Nadja-C. Bigall, member of the board of the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD at LUH and lead applicant of the new device. "This is the only way we can understand why the respective materials have corresponding properties, which is imperative for applications in optics and photonics, for example." 

Contact persons for the service operation are:

Apl. Prof. Dr. Dirk Dorfs, Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry
e-mail: dirk.dorfs@pci.uni-hannover.de

Dr. Andreas Schaate, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry
e-mail: andreas.schaate@acb.uni-hannover.de


You can download a press photo here

Caption: PhD students Marina Rosebrock and Hadir Borg use the X-ray photoelectron spectrometer to examine the surface of a sample of assembled nanoparticles at Leibniz University Hannover. 
Image source/Copyright: Nico Niemeyer/PhoenixD 

Note to editors: For further information, please contact Mechtild Freiin v. Münchhausen, Press Officer of Leibniz Universität Hannover and Head of the Communication and Marketing Department, at +49 511 762 5342 or by e-mail at vonMuenchhausen@zuv.uni-hannover.de.