Functional Materials Group


Renewable energy conversion and storage are relevant topics in applied research today, since the use of non-fossil energy sources is essential for the reduction of CO2 emissions. Solar and wind energy harvesting combined with chemical energy storage in batteries or fuels like hydrogen are essential processes, which need to be improved in efficiency, long-term stability and scalability. Our goal is to contribute to the development of cost effective scalable solutions for energy conversion and storage.


Latest Publications

Exploring the insertion properties of Mg2+ in H2V3O8 as a function of the water content in the organic electrolyte

D. Söllinger, G. J. Redhammer, J. Schoiber, G. A. Zickler and S. Pokrant, Exploring the insertion properties of Mg2+ in H2V3O8 as a function of the water content in the organic electrolyte. Electrochimica Acta, 2022.

Improved Photoelectrochemical Performance of Nb-substituted LaTi(O,N)3

In this study, the influence of Ti-site substitution in the perovskite-related oxynitride LaTi(O,N)3 is investigated. An improved photocurrent density at 1.23 V versus RHE is obtained for Nb-substituted LaTi(O,N)3 particle-based photoanodes.

improved photoelectrochemical performance of Nb-substituted

V. Werner, J. Schoiber, G. J. Redhammer, T. Berger and S. Pokrant, Improved photoelectrochemical performance of Nb-substituted LaTi(O,N)3. Appl. Phys. Lett. 119, 153903 (2021).

Chemical preintercalation of H2V3O8
reduced Graphene Oxide Composites for Improved Na- and Li-ion Battery Cathodes

Preintercalation of H2V3O8 with Na+ and Li+ is shown via a soft-chemistry synthesis. The combination of preintercalation and composite formation of H2V3O8 leads to an increase of the initial capacity of 58 % for SIBs and 48 % for LIBs in comparison to unmodified H2V3O8.

Presodiated H2V3O8 composite

D. Söllinger, T. Berger, G. J. Redhammer, J. Schoiber and S. Pokrant, Chemical preintercalation of H2V3O8-rGO composites for improved Na- and Li-ion battery cathodes. ChemElectroChem, 2021.



Poster presentation by Valérie Werner at the Gordon Research Conference in Italy

V. Werner, poster presentation, Gordon Research Conference, May 2022
V. Werner, poster presentation, Gordon Research Conference, May 2022

Valérie Werner presented her research at the Gordon Research Conference on Renewable Energy: Solar Fuels in Barga (Lucca), Italy. This conference offered a variety of networking opportunities and scientific talks and discussions in the research field of artificial photosynthesis and solar water-splitting.     

Congratulations to Daniela Söllinger!

She won the Innovation Award 2022 of the Young Chemists Network. One outstanding PhD project in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry or chemical engineering was awarded. The task was to create a short video of the doctoral thesis („Pitch your project“). The criteria contained novelty, creativity and originality of the presented work.


We are pleased that the following students are currently writing their bachelor thesis with us:

  • Klammer, Peter            Fabrication of photoanodes by scaleable processes


We are pleased that the following students are currently writing their master thesis with us:

  • Czernastek, Hubert      Photoelectrochemical Properties of BiVO4 Photoanodes
  • Eichbauer, Florian        Morphology and photocatalytic properties of oxynitride particles

New device characterization methods installed and operational!

in-operando XRD                                                                                          Faraday efficiency measurement Set-up

in-operando XRDFaraday efficiency measurement Set-up


Infrastructure project BioMat TEM was granted!

The functional materials group is proud of being part of the project team BioMat-TEM. The aim of this project is the upgrade of the local transmission electron microscope with a cryo unit and an energy filter (1,9 MEu). It will enable subnanometer imaging and analysis of beam sensitive materials like energy materials or biomaterials.
For more information, click  here and  here.

Showcases for research enabled by the energy filter/cryo upgrade

Oxidation state determination of CoOx cocatalyst nanoparticles with a size of  5-40 nm by core loss EELS. The cocatatalysts are deposited on the photocatalyst LaTiO2N (adapted from Pokrant S.  et al., Materials Today Energy, 5, 2017, 158)




Cryo transmission electron micrograph of extracellular vesicles, scaling bar 100 nm (adapted from Corso G., Meisner-Kober N. et al., Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, 8, 2019,  1663043 )