The research group is interested in studying functional materials with applications in sensorics, optics, energy storage or catalysis.
The main goal is to get a deeper understanding of their mesoscopic structures (range of ca. 10-9 to 10-6 m), which define the macroscopic properties (i.e. optical properties, catalytic performance etc.) of the materials. This information is crucial for a tailor-made design of specific devices with applications in life science.
To obtain this goal the Gutmann group applies multinuclear solid-state NMR techniques to identify structural sites. They further develop and apply dynamic nuclear polarization (solid-state DNP) to boost the sensitivity and thus to make solid-state NMR applicable to materials containing only small surface areas or low sensitive nuclei in natural abundance. Especially, the selective signal enhancement produced by the DNP approach is applied as a powerful tool to identify small amounts of functional groups in the presence of large amounts of NMR active bulk materials.
Very recently the group started to investigate sodium containing energy storage materials for which they performed first ex-situ solid-state NMR experiments. In the near future, this research field will be extended to operando techniques that allow to study such materials under working conditions.