Research Methods

Instrumental methods available in our group

Sample preparation

Anodization: We use several home-made anodization setups based on computer-controlled power supplies and powerful chillers. The largest sample size achievable is approximately 14 cm x 14 cm. In charge: Xin.
Langmuir trough: Kibron MicroTrough G2. In charge: Ignacio.
Atomic layer deposition (ALD): One home-made reactor equipped for work with H2S, one custom-made reactor by ModularFlow with a piezoelectric crystal microbalance, and three commercial reactors from Arradiance, one of them with microbalance. In charge: Ying (‘Snoopy’), Dirk and Sebastian (‘Cinderella’), Ignacio (‘Rapunzel’), André and Sarah (‘Timon’), Yuanyuan (‘Mini-Me’).
Sputter coating: DC/HF sputter coater from Torr for Au, Ag, Al, Ti, Ni, Co, ITO, SiO2, and more. In charge: Pascal.
Thermal evaporation: Glovebox-integrated Angström Engineering Covap. In charge: Dirk.
Helium leak tester: Pfeiffer ASM 310. In charge: Sebastian.
Gloveboxes: Two Innovative Technologies InertLabs, one of them under N2 with integrated spin coater and thermal evaporator, the other under Ar with integrated freezer and coin cell crimper. In charge: Ying (Ar), Dirk (N2).
Ovens: Muffle furnace and tube furnace up to 1100°C (Nabertherm). In charge: Xin.
Autoclave: Designer build by Parr Instruments (96 bar, 700°C). in charge: Ying, Sarah.
UV ozone cleaner: Novascan PSD-UV4. In charge: Pascal.
Spin coater: Laurell WS-650Mz-23NPPB. in charge: Dirk.
Solution ALD setups: Several microfluidic setups (1 x 1 cm2 to 2 x 10 cm2), custom built by ZUMOlab and our workshop, and one slot-die setup (10 x 10 cm2), custom built by our engineering colleagues (Brabec group / ZAE Bayern).  In charge: Maïssa, Vanessa.
Electrochemistry: We perform galvanic depositions with our two eight-channel Gamry Interface 1000, single-channel Gamry Reference 600, single-channel Ivium CompactStat.e, or one of a variety of power supplies (Keithley, Agilent, Elektro-Automatik). In charge: Michael, Yuanyuan.
Laser cutter: GCC Spirit SLS (for cutting masks and samples accurately). In charge: Pascal.

Materials characterization

Spectroscopic ellipsometry: SENpro by Sentech and DRE EL X-02 P Spec from Dr. Riss Ellipsometerbau. In charge: Vanessa.
Scanning electron microscopy: refurbished Jeol JSM 6400 with ion getter pump, LaB6 cathode, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and computer upgrade. In charge: Sebastian & Maïssa.
X-ray diffractometer and reflectometer: Bruker D8 Advance equipped with Lynxeye XE-T detector, capable of reflectometry and XRD in grazing incidence. In charge: Sebastian & Dirk.

Functional investigation

Electrochemical potentiostats: We can perform all types of analytical electrochemical work including impedance spectroscopy with the following instruments: two eight-channel Gamry Interface 1000 and 1010 E, single-channel Gamry Reference 600, single-channel Ivium CompactStat.e. In charge: Michael, Yuanyuan.
Battery testing: five eight-channel battery testers Wuhan LAND CT2001A. In charge: Ying
Oxygen sensor: Hamilton Visiferm for quantifying dissolved and gaseous oxygen. In charge: Ryan.
Electrochemical dilatometer: ECD-3-nano by EL-CELL. In charge: Ying.
In-situ XRD electrochemical cell: ECC-OPTO-STD by EL-CELL. In charge: Ying.
Light sources: 150-W solar simulator (Newport), modulated light source (Ivium Modulight), 1000-W Xe lamp with monochromator. In charge: Dirk, Ignacio.
UV-vis spectrometer: OceanOptics spectrometer with liquid cell and integration sphere. In charge: Pascal.
Optical microscope: trinocular Motic BA310 with camera. In charge: Ryan.
Hall setup: Model K2500-3SLP by MMR Technologies, 80 K – 580 K, 5000 Gauss. In charge: Ignacio.
Quantum efficiency setup: Characterization of solar cells over the UV and visible based on a 300-W Xe lamp, an LED bias light, a double monochromator, and with either DC power meter or lock-in amplifier detection (Newport). In charge: Dirk.

Other ‘group jobs’

Safety officer: Michael; radiation safety officer: Sebastian.

Our experience with various brands and companies

Thumbs up: Arradiance (ALD reactors), Gamry (electrochemical potentiostats), REMx (refurbished SEM), Torr (sputter coater), Innovative (gloveboxes), OceanOptics (UV-vis spectrometer), GCC (laser cutter), ElektroAutomatik (power supplies), Nabertherm (ovens), Parr (high-pressure reactors), Vacuubrand (pumps), ModularFlow (ALD reactors), ZUMOlab (custom automation), Wuhan LAND (battery testers)

Thumbs down: Huber (chillers), Wallburg (laser cutter), MaterialsMates (electrochemical potentiostats), Ivium (electrochemical potentiostats and modulated light source)