Materials and Interfaces

Our primary focus on the materials side are nanostructured inorganic systems and their interfaces: Their structure, stability, electronic properties, etc. Up to date publication information can be found on our group's publications page.

Current work in the group addresses new semiconductor materials and their properties.

Several distinct avenues of research on new, crystalline organic-inorganic hybrid materials funded by NSF and also, as of Fall 2018, through DoE's Energy Frontier Research Center "CHOISE", which is led at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

New multinary chalocgenides for light harvesting applications (e.g., photovoltaics or photo-electrochemistry) in a recent, joint NSF project with the group of David Mitzi at Duke University:

Further recent work has focused on materials and their interfaces for electronic, photo- or electrocatalyic applications, including:

Graphene and related nanostructures on SiC surfaces. On SiC, high-quality mono- and bilayer graphene films can be grown directly by the controlled sublimation of Si, creating what may be the most promising platform for graphene based applications grown directly on a semiconducting substrate. Recent publications include:

Ongoing work includes the definitive identification of the critical, so far unresolved pre-graphitic surface structures of C-face SiC, the mechanical properties of 2D materials as a means to achieve subsurface structural resolution in experiment.

Together with the group of Bettina Lotsch in Germany and visiting student Tiago Botari from Brazil, work in the group also addresses the mechanisms behind the photocatalytic activity of graphitic carbon nitride materials:

Earlier work covered the reconstructed surfaces of Au, Pt, catalytically relevant surface properties, and many other aspects of surface science. In addition, Volker has some significant background in creating first-principles multiscale models for specific materials, e.g.,

and in surface crystallography (low-energy electron diffraction), e.g.,