Nanotechnology

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Handling of hydrogen storage material powders in glovebox under protected atmosphere

Handling of hydrogen storage material powders in glovebox under protected atmosphere

The department is divided into three working groups:

  • The “Hydrogen Storage Materials” group studies materials with particularly high storage capacities and fast reaction kinetics at relatively moderate working temperatures and pressures.
  • The “Hydrogen Storage Tank” group develops optimized hydrogen storage solutions for mobile and stationary application based on newly developed hydrides and light metal hydrides.
  • The “Coating Technology” group focuses on developing corrosion protection coatings and nanostructured X-ray and neutron optics.

Within the framework of the Helmholtz “Advanced Engineering Materials” program, we develop and characterise nanostructured materials for hydrogen storage. We optimize their properties with the following goals:

  • The highest possible capacity for compact and light hydrogen stores
  • The highest possible reaction rate at application-oriented operating temperatures for fast and energy-efficient loading and unloading
  • Stable loading and unloading behaviour for a long lifespan, suitable for various mobile and stationary applications.

One particular focus lies in light metal hydrides, especially in Reactive Hydride Composites, that are characterized – also in comparison to pressurized and liquid hydrogen storage – by an especially high storage density in relation to weight.

Learn more about hydrogen for energy storage in this movie:


Please find more details in Development and Characterisation of novel Materials for Hydrogen Storage

We study possible large-scale technical production of metal and complex hydrides for hydrogen storage as well as develop and optimize hydrogen storage tanks, which contain these materials, and test them under application-oriented conditions.

Our objectives are:

  • The cost-efficient production of storage materials and storage tanks for economic use of this technology
  • To demonstrate the technology in selected applications
  • Application-specific optimization in close collaboration with industry and end users
Please find more details in “Development of Hydrogen Storage Tanks“

The focus of our coating technology lies in:

  • achieving the highest possible corrosion protection for lightweight engineering materials within the framework of the Helmholtz “Advanced Engineering Materials” Programme
  • the development of X-ray and neutron mirrors that possess the required high reflectivity for scattering experiments as part of material sciences research, which falls within the Helmholtz Programme “From Materials to Matter and Life” (until the end of 2014 “Research with Photons, Neutrons and Ions”).
Please find more details about our activities in coating technology here.