Molecular Aspects in Interface Science

Electrochemistry research in energy conversion and storage – from fundamentals to nanotechnology applications

Dr. Julia Kunze-Liebhäuser was a Carl von Linde Junior Fellow at the TUM Institute for Advanced Study. Our research focuses on interface science, where we investigated the properties of two adjacent condensed phases. Such properties are important in materials science, energy conversion and storage, catalysis and electrocatalysis, and for medical applications. In all these areas, nanostructures play a crucial role. We fabricate nanostructured surfaces and characterize them in terms of their catalytic activity and their use in the respective applications. Prof. Ulrich Stimming’s group has found that the variation of the physical parameters for a given catalyst system had more influence on the catalytic activity than the variation of the chemical composition. This new bottom-up approach, relying on a separation of the physical parameters, is used to study innovative and promising catalyst systems. We employ scanning probe microscopy, electrochemical techniques, and surface analysis tools such as X-ray induced photoelectron and infrared spectroscopy for detailed investigations of the systems. Especially scanning electrochemical potential microscopy (SECPM), which is a powerful scanning probe technique, is applied. This technique images the potential distribution of large organic molecules with nanometer- scale resolution and can provide information on the local pH. Currently my group is investigating three specific topics:

  • Novel material systems for electrocatalysis
    We use electronically conducting titanium oxycarbide (TiOxCy) as support material for catalyst nanoparticles. For application in medium-temperature fuel cells, where commonly used carbon-supports are unstable, nano-structured electrically conductive valve-metal oxide supports are being developed.
  • Study of biological molecules for electrocatalysis
    This project deals with the investigation of the local reactivity of redox enzymes, immobilized on nanostructured model surfaces.
  • Self-assembled anodic titania nanotubes - fundamentals and application as anode material for rechargeable Lithium batteries
    Nanotubular highly porous titanium oxycarbide structures are explored for their applicability as high-stability high-voltage negative electrode materials in stationary applications.

TUM-IAS funded doctoral candidates:
Norbert Kluy (PhD in 2015), Interfaces and Energy Conversion
Celine Rüdiger (PhD in 2018), Interfaces and Energy Conversion
Christoph Traunsteiner (PhD in 2016), Interfaces and Energy Conversion

Publications by the Focus Group


  • Rüdiger, Celine: Planar titanium oxycarbide electrodes for electrocatalysis studies – Synthesis, characterization and application. Dissertation, 2018 more…


  • Traunsteiner, Christoph Sebastian: Electrochemical Scanning Probe Microscopy Studies of Enzyme Immobilization on Model Electrodes. Dissertation, 2016 more…


  • Kluy, Norbert: Ammonium Polyphosphat - Membranen. Dissertation, 2015 more…


  • Brumbarov, Jassen; Kunze-Liebhäuser, Julia: Silicon on conductive self-organized TiO2 nanotubes – A high capacity anode material for Li-ion batteries. Journal of Power Sources 258, 2014, 129-133 more…


  • Rüdiger, Celine; Brumbarov, Jassen; Wiesinger, Florian; Leonardi, Silvia; Paschos, Odysseas; Vidal, Carlos Valero; Kunze-Liebhäuser, Julia: Ethanol Oxidation on TiOxCy-Supported Pt Nanoparticles. ChemCatChem 5 (11), 2013, 3219-3223 more…