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Functional Materials

Prof. Peter Müller-Buschbaum

Research Field

We examine the physical fundamentals of material properties using scattering methods (neutrons-, x-ray and dynamic light scattering). The general goal of our research is to judge from the knowledge of the microscopic dynamics and structure for explaining the functional characteristics of condensed matter.

Address/Contact

James-Franck-Str. 1/I
85748 Garching b. München
+49 89 289 12452
Fax: +49 89 289 12473

Members of the Research Group

Professor

Office

Scientists

Students

Other Staff

Teaching

Course with Participations of Group Members

Titel und Modulzuordnung
ArtSWSDozent(en)Termine
Materialphysik auf atomarer Skala 1
eLearning-Kurs
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
VO 2 Leitner, M. Mi, 10:00–12:00, PH-Cont. C.3201
Polymer Physics 1
eLearning-Kurs LV-Unterlagen
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
VO 2 Müller-Buschbaum, P.
Mitwirkende: Körstgens, V.
Di, 10:00–12:00, PH II 127
Seminar über Neutronen in Forschung und Industrie
aktuelle Informationen
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
PS 2 Märkisch, B. Morkel, C. Müller-Buschbaum, P. Pfleiderer, C.
Mitwirkende: Franz, C.Park, J.
Mo, 14:30–15:45, PH HS3
Exercise to Polymer Physics 1
eLearning-Kurs LV-Unterlagen
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
UE 2
Leitung/Koordination: Müller-Buschbaum, P.
Termine in Gruppen
Aktuelle Probleme der organischen Photovoltaik
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
SE 2 Müller-Buschbaum, P. Mo, 10:00–11:30, PH 3734
Dozentensprechstunde Polymerphysik 1
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
RE 2 Müller-Buschbaum, P. Termine in Gruppen
Edgar-Lüscher-Lehrerfortbildungs-Seminar "Kernphysik"
Diese Lehrveranstaltung ist keinem Modul zugeordnet.
WS 2 Müller-Buschbaum, P.
FOPRA-Versuch 42: Rasterkraftmikroskopie
aktuelle Informationen
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
PR 1 Grott, S.
Leitung/Koordination: Müller-Buschbaum, P.
FOPRA-Versuch 61: Neutronenstreuung am FRM II
aktuelle Informationen
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
PR 1 Georgii, R.
Leitung/Koordination: Müller-Buschbaum, P.
Führung durch die Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) für Studierende der Physik
aktuelle Informationen
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
EX 0.1
Leitung/Koordination: Müller-Buschbaum, P.
Seminar: Polymere
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
SE 2 Müller-Buschbaum, P. Papadakis, C. Mi, 13:15–15:00, PH 3734
Seminar über Struktur und Dynamik kondensierter Materie
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
SE 2 Müller-Buschbaum, P. Papadakis, C. Di, 13:00–15:00, PH 3734

Offers for Theses in the Group

Block copolymer membranes for lithium ion microbatteries
Lithium ion microbattery is the type of battery where all components (electrodes, membrane, and packaging) are in the thin film format. The need for such types of batteries is to provide lightweight and shape flexible solid-state energy sources for some miniature medical devices, such as implantable pumps, biosensors, and wireless capsule endoscopes. Membrane based on mixing both lithium slat and polyelectrolyte block copolymers will be prepared and investigated using small-angle X-ray scattering and impedance spectroscopy. The effect of a third component such as inorganic SiO2 nanoparticles on the morphology and conductivity of the prepared thin film membranes will be studied. The best performing membrane will be assembled between two electrodes to probe the performance of a complete assembly of a solid-state lithium battery. The project will involve a literature review, sample preparation, x-ray scattering and impedance spectroscopy.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Conductive paper
Transparent flexible substrates with electrical conductivity are an essential component for display technologies of devices like smartphones. In organic photovoltaics the use of flexible substrates allows for applications with a new versatility. We follow an environmentally friendly approach with the use of nanocellulose derived from wood in combination with conductive polymers. This project comprises the preparation of composite films with printing technology and the characterization of conductivity and optical properties.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Fabrication and characterization of high-efficiency printed perovskite solar cells

In this work, you will manufacture your own printed perovskite solar cells and build a new setup for current-voltage measurements of the illuminated solar cells to determine their efficiency.

Next-generation perovskite solar cells show very high efficiencies competitive to silicon solar cells and have the potential to revolutionize photovoltaics in the near future. Their heart is a thin-film absorber that can be easily deposited onto glass or flexible substrate using a slot-die printer.  You will build solar cells with printed perovskite absorber layers, that are compatible with commercialization. Our group has long-standing experience in perovskite fabrication and printing deposition that you can rely on during your work in our group. For characterization, we have the possibility to conduct X-ray scattering for structural analysis and SEM measurements for real-space imaging, among others.

However, the key method of characterizing solar cells is to measure the diode-like current-voltage-behavior of the cell under well-known laboratory illumination. From this measurement, the most important performance parameters such as the efficiency, current characteristics, and internal resistances of your cells can be extracted. In our labs, we already have such a device, but it does not allow measuring our solar cells in inert atmosphere. In this work, you will build a new setup that enables these measurements inside an inert gas atmosphere. The basic concept is already set up, I would be happy if you wish to learn more about this. Further tasks will include strategic planning of the individual components, drawing parts in CAD, guiding our workshop in constructing the parts, and the final assembly of the setup. You will test the setup by characterizing your printed perovskite cells and correlate the findings to your chosen experimental parameters.

suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Condensed Matter Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Green photovoltaics
The development of organic solar cells is an important achievement of recent years. One of the major advantages of organic solar cells in comparison to silicon-based technologies is the solution-based processability of the active layer. Whereas usually organic solvents are used to dissolve the organic components, we use a water-soluble donor material which allows for an environmentally friendly production process of devices. This project comprises the preparation of active layer films with printing technology and the characterization with spectroscopy methods.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
High efficiency organic solar cells
Organic solar cells have gained significant improvements via novel organic synthesis methods and optimized fabrication routes, especially with respect to their potential roll-to-roll processing for large-area device manufacturing. Printing technique, such as slot-die printing, allows for up-scaling to industrial-oriented scale, which is not the case for laboratory deposition techniques like spin coating. This experimental bachelor thesis aims at understanding organic solar cell working principle and the corresponding fabrication process of solar cell via advanced slot-die printing technique. Besides, the relationship between its efficiency and morphology will be investigated by different measuring technique, such as AFM and small angle x-ray scattering. The project will involve a literature review, sample preparation process, data analysis and result exhibition.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Intelligent antibacterial soft templates
Polyelectrolyte-based block copolymer thin films, where one block possesses biocidal and the other block self-renewal properties, exhibit strong potential as intelligent antibacterial soft templates. As an instance, quaternized acrylate-based films display a 50-fold decrease in the growth of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. However, their nanoscale and sub-surface morphology is practically lacking. Recent preliminary results in our group suggest a correlation between presence of charged moieties, solvent annealing as post-preparation step and the corresponding nanoscale film morphology. This bachelor thesis will cover fundamental concepts concerning surface and sub-buried nanoscale morphology of novel unexplored acrylic-based polyelectrolyte block copolymer thin films. The analysis part will cover a survey on the state-of-the-art literature of the field as well as introduction to x-ray scattering data analysis.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Interface control via plasma etching

One of the main challenges in solar cell and sensor manufacturing industry is to understand crucial influencing factors in solar cell design in order to increase the electricity output. A strict understanding of the internal architecture and nanoscale morphology of the polymer-metal nanocomposite films is required.

In a simplified approach of reduced complexity, we are interested in examining the correlation between the interfaces of a charged polymeric interlayer and a potential (metal) electrode. Polyzwitterions possess permanent charges and dipole moments. As such, polyzwitterionic thin (thicknesses between 50-200 nm) films can act as promising zones for the charge carrier diffusion before they reach the electrode and recombine. Plasma treatment can chemically modify the polymer layer, impacting the polymer film’s structure and perhaps hydrophilicity, leading to potential variations in polymer-metal intermixing as well as on the kinetics of metal nuclei formation and growth.

The aim of this master thesis is to explore for the first time how variable plasma etching conditions onto polysulfobetaine (or similar) thin films can affect the nanoscale morphology of different metals sputtered on top of the polysulfobetaine (or similar) thin film under vacuum conditions. The thesis’ deliverables can strongly reinforce design of novel unexplored organic solar cells. 

suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Condensed Matter Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Low-temperature fabrication of titania films for hybrid solar cells on flexible substrates
Low-temperature (<150°C) route towards titania films offer promise for simple manufacturing, compatibility with flexible substrates, and titania-based solar cells. Herein, we use a specific titania precursor, ethylene glycol-modified titanate, to fabricate titania films as an electron-transporting layer. This experimental bachelor thesis aims at understanding the working principle of hybrid solar cells and the corresponding fabrication process. Different film characterization will be used such as SEM, GISAXS, XRD, UV-Vis, XPS, etc. The project will involve a literature review, sample preparation process, data analysis and result evaluation.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Novel measurement setup to investigate thermoelectric materials

Organic thermoelectric (TE) materials are nowadays an increasingly emerging topic of research, as they are useful in TE generators to directly convert a temperature gradient into electrical energy. Therefore they are of immense environmental interest in terms of waste heat recovery and the use of solar thermal energy. Recent research has shown that the performance of organic TE materials, especially PEDOT:PSS is strongly dependent on the relative humidity. In this master thesis a new measurement setup will be designed and built, which allows us to investigate TE properties like Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity under controlled relative humidity. This setup would give us a huge advantage to better understand the effect of humidity on organic thermoelectric films and to use this knowledge for improving the performance of TE materials. The project will involve a literature review, the development and construction of the new measurement setup to fit the requirements, and in the end the fabrication of organic TE films in the laboratory to test the novel self-made setup.

suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Condensed Matter Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Organic Solar Cells for Space Applications
Organic solar cells have become a hot research topic in the last few years. The lightweight thin-film solar cells are of particular interest for space applications due to their exceptional power per mass, exceeding their inorganic counterparts by magnitudes. Recently, we performed the Organic and Hybrid Solar Cells In Space experiment (OHSCIS) and launched of organic solar cells to space for the first time. The mechanical and electronic design of the experiment aimed at maximizing the data collection rate and precise measurements. We showed that the organic solar cells operate in space conditions and produce reasonable power per area of up to 7 mW cm-2. Also during a phase being turned away from the sun, the solar cells produced power from collecting faint Sun-light scattered from Earth. Our results highlight the potential for near-Earth applications and deep space missions of these technologies. Soon a next space missing will come up and presently we are looking for an interested master student to join the exiting next flight of organic solar cells to space. The task will be to make new sets of organic solar cells and test them with the set-up. After the successful flight to space, the solar cell data need to be evaluated and analyzed in detail to learn from the space flight.
suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Perovskite Solar Cells for Space Applications
Perovskite solar cells have become a hot research topic in the last few years. The lightweight thin-film solar cells are of particular interest for space applications due to their exceptional power per mass, exceeding their inorganic counterparts by magnitudes. Recently, we performed the Organic and Hybrid Solar Cells In Space experiment (OHSCIS) and launched of perovskite solar cells to space for the first time. The mechanical and electronic design of the experiment aimed at maximizing the data collection rate and precise measurements. We showed that the perovskite solar cells operate in space conditions and produce reasonable power per area of up to 14 mW cm-2. Also during a phase being turned away from the sun, the solar cells produced power from collecting faint Sun-light scattered from Earth. Our results highlight the potential for near-Earth applications and deep space missions of these technologies. Soon a next space missing will come up and presently we are looking for an interested master student to join the exiting next flight of perovskite solar cells to space. The task will be to make new sets of perovskite solar cells and test them with the set-up. After the successful flight to space, the solar cell data need to be evaluated and analyzed in detail to learn from the space flight.
suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Plasma parameters of a PVD coating process for U-Mo fuels
Starting from November 2021, the working group “High Density Nuclear Fuels” at the research reactor FRM II is looking for a B.Sc. student / working student / internship Plasma parameters of a PVD coating process for U-Mo fuels The working group “High Density Nuclear Fuels” at the Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) is working on the qualification of newly-developed high-density nuclear fuels in Europe. The most promising candidates are a metallic uranium-molybdenum alloy fuel (U-Mo) or high-density uranium silicide (U3Si2), both using aluminum-based cladding. Therefore, scientists in the fields of physics, chemistry, engineering, physical technology and computer science are working intensively together on fuel fabrication technologies, the determination of material properties as well as the irradiation behavior of such fuels. For metallic uranium-molybdenum fuel systems a diffusion barrier is established using Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) in order to prevent intermixing. The scope of this project is to do a parameter study on a PVD device regarding the ion and electron bombardment during the coating of the substrate material in order to get a better understanding of the growing layer. This will be used to better control the growth structure of the zirconium coatings in a way that it acts as a good diffusion barrier and also withstands the mechanical stresses of subsequent cladding applications. The practical work may also include sample preparation and polishing techniques. Best suited are students studying physics, engineering, materials science or comparable studies. We are looking forward to receive your application. Further information on the fuel development at FRM II can be found at https://www.frm2.tum.de/en/fuel-development For questions and applications, please contact Bruno Baumeister (bruno.baumeister@frm2.tum.de; +49 89 289 13967) Christian Schwarz (christian.schwarz@frm2.tum.de; +49 89 289 14759) Framework conditions The tasks typically involve working in radiation protection areas with open handling of radioactive materials such as uranium. The high security standard of FRM II generally requires a security clearance according to the German atomic law.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Winfried Petry
Polymer thin films embedded with magnetic nanoparticles for applications in magnetic data storage
Diblock copolymer (DBC) films with periodic nanostructures allows for the precise control of magnetic nanoparticle (NP) arrangement and thus allow for the tuning of the resulting magnetic properties. For potential applications in magnetic data storage, these films should have a large residual magnetization upon removal of a magnetic field and must also be resistant to demagnetization. In this project, we aim to fabricate hybrid films containing both ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic NPs. The goal is to take advantage of the exchange bias effect that occurs between the two types of NPs, which arises from the pinning of the ferromagnetic domains by the antiferromagnetic domains and leads to a shift in the magnetization curve of the films and an improvement of the desired magnetic properties. An investigation of the surface morphology and inner morphology of the films along with an investigation of the films' magnetic properties shall be the main focus of the thesis work.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Printed ZnO nanostructures
Assemblies of ZnO nanostructures can enable realization of high-efficient nanodevices with tunable optical, electrical properties as well as a high surface area. Current synthesis routes mainly involve tedious multisteps and also suffer from the limited morphological controllability. To this end, block copolymer-assisted sol-gel synthesis in combination with the industrial-based slot-die printing technique emerges as a promising strategy to construct 3D ZnO architectures with desired morphology and orientation. The morphology-dependent functionalities make ZnO ideal candidates for various applications such as gas sensors, solar cells, light-emitting diodes, energy harvesters and so on. In this work, the mesoporous ZnO thin films with highly tunable morphology will be fabricated and self-assembly pathway during the film formation process will be investigated.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Printing perovskite thin-films for next-generation solar cells
In this work, you will manufacture your own printed perovskite solar cells and work part-time in a chemistry lab. Next-generation perovskite solar cells show very high efficiencies competitive to silicon solar cells and have the potential to revolutionize photovoltaics in the near future. The focus of this work will be on printing (slot-die coating) perovskite thin-films. This includes material preparation, optimizing the printing process and analysis of printed films and/or devices. We use imaging techniques (e.g. electron microscopy) and methods for structure and morphology determination, e.g. X-ray scattering.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Role of hole transport layer in the stabilization of perovskite solar cells
Stabilization of perovskite solar cells is a major challenge toady to bring this new technology into application. We will compare three types of materials as the hole transport layer in combination with Au as an electrode. After understanding the fundamental structure of the related interfaces, the long-time operation stability will be tested at room temperature. In addition, the thermal stability will be tested at elevated temperature such as 85. The project will involve a literature review, sample preparation process, data analysis and result evaluation.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Peter Müller-Buschbaum

Current and Finished Theses in the Group

Construction of a system for the study of materials under space conditions
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physik (Kern-, Teilchen- und Astrophysik)
Themensteller(in): Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physics (Applied and Engineering Physics)
Themensteller(in): Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Fabrication and characterization of high-efficiency printed perovskite solar cells
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physics (Applied and Engineering Physics)
Themensteller(in): Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Fabrication and characterization of high-efficiency printed perovskite solar cells
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physics (Applied and Engineering Physics)
Themensteller(in): Peter Müller-Buschbaum
Investigation of the degradation mechanism of organic non-fullurene solar cells by in operando GISAX technique
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physics (Applied and Engineering Physics)
Themensteller(in): Peter Müller-Buschbaum
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