We develop new solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic techniques for the investigation of modern functional materials.
We are interested in modern materials for a wide range of advanced applications in separation, catalysis, optoelectronics and photocatalysis. For this purpose, we develop and implement novel NMR techniques in the solid state under Magic Angle Spinning (MAS) to obtain a molecular understanding of the structure of modern materials, which is essential for their knowledge-based optimization. In most applications, the relevant chemical and physical processes take place at the surface of the materials or their interface to other phases. We therefore concentrate our efforts on the understanding of these interface processes, made possible by advanced multinuclear Magic Angle Spinning NMR methods.
Processes in heterogeneous catalysis often include changes of surface species, transient and intermediate products and possibly side reactions. Therefore, insight into a catalytic system under realistic operating conditions is invaluable. We approach this issue by the development of in situ and operando MAS NMR techniques of catalytic reactions. Experiments are carried out by recording spectra online during the reaction. The catalyst is exposed to high temperatures and to a flow of gaseous reactants. Para-Hydrogen Induced Polarization (PHIP) is used to increase the signal intensity. We also investigate photoinduced chemical processes and photocatalytic reactions by light irradiation in a spinning MAS NMR rotor.
- Heterogeneous photocatalysis studied in situ by light irradiation inside the MAS NMR: oxidation of alcohols over oxidic photocatalysts as model reactions. This project is supported by the German Research Foundation.
- Supported Ionic Liquids for new concepts in catalysis, combining the best of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis – in the framework of the Collaborative Research Center 1452 “Catalysis at Liquid Interfaces”
- Porous silica-based materials, zeolites, zeolite templated carbons and metal-organic frameworks for applications in separation and heterogeneous catalysis. Among others, these projects are carried out in the framework of the Collaborative Research Center 1411 “Design of Particulate Products”
- Thin films of semiconductors and perovskites for information technology and energy conversion