Nanoscale microscopy and spectroscopy of energy materials
Photosystems are often composed of polycrystalline or nanostructured materials with highly complex architectures, which can lead to local variations in the material properties and impact the performance of the macroscale device. In our group, we aim at resolving local heterogeneities within semiconductor thin films to understand their fundamental material properties at the nanoscale.
In a recent study on bismuth vanadate thin films, we demonstrated the tolerance of charge transport to grain boundaries by correlating morphology and local optoelectronic properties under ambient conditions and illumination. The transport across single grains is space charge-limited and impacted by surface adsorption of gaseous products.
In copper vanadate thin films, we resolved variations in the local chemical composition and their correlation to macroscopic photoelectrochemical properties. The gained insights revealed deteriorate effects on the photocatalytic activity and stability that are otherwise not apparent from pure macroscopic characterization.
We are currently looking for MSc students to join research projects in the group for 2024. Interested students are welcome to contact Johanna Eichhorn to discuss specific projects.