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Advanced analytics for nanostructured material

Nanostructured materials such as thin film solar cells or novel battery schemes are a research topic of increasing interest. New systems emerge regularly, necessitating novel analytical approaches. As adequate reference materials for these systems are rare, standard-free methods are needed.

Modern X-ray methods lead to a number of investigation possibilities, beginning with the determination of the elemental composition of a specimen, the analysis of information on chemical binding up to structural investigations on the nanometer scale. Key benefits of X-rays lie in mostly non-destructive measurements, a high detection sensitivity and a low effort on preparation.

The aim of our research in this area is to gain a deeper insight into the properties of novel materials, to characterize the systems (e.g. depth profiling) and to develop basic approaches for process control systems in the production. The methods used in this research are GI-/GEXRF and GIXRF-NEXAFS


In a cooperation with the PTB a flexible ultra high vacuum spectroscopy chamber was developed which enables the use of different excitation sources and detectors for various analytical techniques, such as conventional XRF, GI-/GEXRF, total reflection XRF and transmission measurements.

Relevant publications:

Streeck, C; Brunken, S; Gerlach, M; Herzog, C; Honicke, P; Kaufmann, CA; Lubeck, J; Pollakowski, B; Unterumsberger, R; Weber, A; Beckhoff, B; Kanngiesser, B; Schock, HW; Mainz, R, Appl. Phys. Lett., 2013, 103(11), 113904


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