In our department, nanoparticles are preferably prepared from the gas phase by inert gas condensation. This provides particles with clean, uncovered surfaces. In addition to the mere investigation of size-related phenomena, this allows us to also study the influence of the particle surfaces on their morphology, structure and properties. Here, state-of-the-art aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy is an indispensable tool for atomic resolution structural characterization.
If needed, the particles can be subjected to in-flight optical heating in a light furnace in order to promote their thermal equilibration. Both the particles' thermodynamic phase stability as well as the kinetics of the phase formation in these nanoscopic objects are of vital scientific interest to the group. The following materials systems and topics have been under investigation: