Conversion of substances

DFG approves second funding period of the CRC 1316

Plasmas for the Systems for material conversion are an important component in the utilization and storage of decentrally generated renewable energies. The Collaborative Research Center 1316 (CRC 1316) "Transient Atmospheric Pressure Plasmas - from Plasma to Liquids to Solids" is dedicated to combining atmospheric pressure plasmas with catalysis to develop the most flexible solutions possible for this material conversion. "They should be scalable, controllable and robust against external influences, such as impurities in the starting materials," explains Prof. Dr. Achim von Keudell, spokesman of the CRC. 

The first funding period of the CRC 1316 was dedicated to the elucidation of transient phenomena in atmospheric pressure plasmas as well as interfacial processes at the surface of catalysts. Here, the focus was on three systems: the plasma-catalytic conversion of gases, the combination of plasmas with electrolysis at the interface between liquid and solid, and plasma-assisted biocatalysis, in which enzymes very selectively produce new molecules. The researchers were able to make great progress in these areas: For example, they achieved precise control of the formation of reactive particles in these plasmas. They were also able to gain a deeper understanding of the atomic and molecular surface processes in these systems. 

In the second funding period, these findings will be brought together to make the best possible use of the interplay between a plasma with its reactive particles and a catalytically active surface. There are many further questions in this regard, since in traditional catalysis, for example, stable molecules are essentially reaction partners, whereas in plasma catalysis, reactive particles or highly excited species can accelerate or suppress a specific reaction path. On this basis, the first prototype plants for plasma catalysis, plasma electrolysis and plasma biocatalysis are to be developed. 

In addition to the RUB as the host university, researchers from the University of Ulm, the Jülich Research Center and the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin are involved in the CRC.

Research funding

Approval for Jun.-Prof. Golda's DAAD project

In collaboration with Dr. Claire Douat from the institute GREMI in Orléans, France, Jun.-Prof. Judith Golda has submitted a DAAD project on the diagnostics and application of plasma radiation as a CO source for sterilization in wound healing. This has now been approved by the DAAD for 1.1.2022.
The aim of the project is to investigate the production pathways and the role of the CO molecule in the plasma treatment of biological material. To study CO generation in CAPs, two well-characterized plasma sources will be used that have complementary operating principles: A radial kHz-dielectric barrier discharge with direct contact of the plasma including ions, electrons, and strong electric fields with the treated substrate; and a coplanar RF discharge where only the field-free plasma effluent containing reactive species and plasma-generated photons reaches the substrate. This project will explore possible synergistic effects between CO and plasma-generated species such as electric fields, ions and electrons, photons, and other neutral radicals. The two complementary plasma sources will be used to distinguish the effects of indirect and direct plasma treatment on the impact of plasma-produced CO on bacteria. The plasma sources used here will be characterized with CO2 admixture to ensure that the amount of CO produced is below the toxicity limit. Parameter variations will be used to determine the optimal CO production conditions.
The project includes travel expenses to address the planned research questions.

Link to the group:


Japan Workshop

A workshop between CRC1316 and Japanese universities/research institutions will take part between November 29th and December 3rd, 2021. The organizers are Prof. Czarnetzki, Satoshi Hamaguchi, Jan Kuhfeld and two PhD students from Nagoya University. Further information can be found here.

Please note that the deadline is already October 27, 2021. Active participation is by invitation only, but passive participation is completely open. Participants must register in any case.


Lukas Mai receives a PhD award

© RUB, Marquard

Dr. Lukas Mai from the Faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry receives a prize from the German Chemical Society (GDCh). The prize is the H.C. Starck Tungsten Doctoral Award 2021 of the GDCh Division of Solid State Chemistry & Materials Research. The prize is awarded for Mai's dissertation "Investigation of Amino-Alkyl Coordinated Complexes as New Precursor Class for Atomic Layer Deposition of Aluminum, Tin and Zinc Oxide Thin Films and Their Application." The certificate and the prize money of 2,500 euros will be awarded at the Science Forum Chemistry at the end of August.

The award-winning work was carried out in an interdisciplinary environment between chemistry, materials science and engineering in the Chemistry of Inorganic Materials group. It involved the investigation of new chemicals, known as precursors, used for the deposition of ultrathin films by atomic layer deposition. These nanostructured thin films could then be tested in current applications as gas sensors, gas barrier layers or in transistors. The two projects SFB-TR 87 and EFRE-FunALD, within which the work was carried out, provided the ideal platform for this application-oriented research.

Atomic Layer Deposition is used in microelectronics for computer chips, displays and sensors, among other applications, to deposit various materials with a thickness of a few nanometers (one millionth of a millimeter) on surfaces. Chemical compounds, known as precursors, are used for this purpose, which must be volatile, thermally stable and reactive. Alkyl compounds are often used in industry, but although they meet these conditions, they self-ignite in air and thus require high safety precautions. Lukas Mai used a so-called 3-(dimethylamino)propyl (DMP) ligand to stabilize aluminum, tin and zinc compounds, which are thus safer and still meet all precursor conditions.

adapted from RUB, Arne Dessaul

Plasma research contributes to new Research Center “Future Energy Materials and Systems”

The state NRW will fund four research centers and one research college during the next years in the framework of the funding instrument "Ruhr Konferenz". One research center “Future energy materials and systems” will support the plasma science at RUB in the area of synthetic plasma chemistry. (Image (c) hagenvontroja)