Building Energy Materials and Components

We are a leading provider of advanced materials with a view on applications and integration of new solutions into next-generation energy-efficient Building concepts.

Our mission is to provide new materials solutions on the basis of wet chemical / sol-gel methods and to implement these across the board in the built environment. In this sense, we see ourselves as an innovator with focus on the “Energy & Buildings” topic. The lab features two groups, RT1 and RT2, which serve as competence toolboxes with main activities in superinsulation (materials and systems), aerogel technology and inorganic functional energy materials (carbons, complex inorganic oxides and thin films) and related conversion and storage systems. The materials competence is then linked to building applications through the integration and applications group (RT3).

Our Core Competences

  • Sol-gel chemical synthesis methods
  • Preparation of various types of aerogel and thin film materials
  • Ambient and supercritical drying of aerogels
  • Systematic modification of physical properties by chemical modification of aerogels
  • Organic / inorganic composite materials
  • Pore structure engineering
  • Scale-up of production technology for industrial manufacture of aerogels
  • Various state-of-the-art characterization methods (SEM, TEM, solid state NMR, spectroscopy, X-Ray tomography, scattering and imaging techniques, advanced in-situ methods)
  • Liquid solder anodic bonding for direct glass to metal bonding (vacuum glazing edge sealing)
  • Integration aspects and development of product prototypes
  • Building physical evaluation of new applications for superinsulating materials and components

Diversity of Research Activities and Projects

Our laboratory seeks a healthy mix of fundamental research activities and projects (SNF, European Commission, own funding) to secure a place at the forefront of academic research in the aerogel materials topic. These activities are complemented by applied R&D projects with other academic research institutes and industry partners and are typically funded through BFE, CTI, the European Commission but also through direct industry sponsorship.