34. Erfinderlabor: Scientific curiosity of the next Generation

Hessen’s young MINT scientists conduct research on hydrogen and renewable energies within the SFB 1083 and Philipps University Marburg

Group foto of the closing event.

The 34th Inventors’ Lab (Erfinderlabor) of the Center for Chemistry (Zentrum für Chemie, ZFC) has successfully entered its finale. This year’s event was once again organized by the ZFC in cooperation with the Philipps University of Marburg and Elkamet and supported by other renowned cooperation partners such as the SFB 1083.

The practice-oriented workshop not only offers valuable career orientation on career opportunities in the MINT environment (mathematics, informatics, natural sciences and technology), but also always addresses a current topic of high socio-political and economic relevance. The focus of this years Inventors’ Lab was on renewable energies and hydrogen.

The sixteen students in four teams dealt with different issues in the context of the energy transition in different research groups, which are part of the SFB 1083. The topics were novel crystalline materials for the use of surface structures as energy converters, the functioning of batteries and the basics of laser spectroscopy as well as the self-construction of a spectrometer. Finally, the storage of hydrogen in metal hydrides was investigated.

The experts were impressed by the technical curiosity and quick comprehension, but also by the motivation and team spirit of the young people. “Here, a highly complex topic was explained precisely,” said Prof. Dr. Gregor Witte from the SFB during the virtual closing event.

The local project partner was the Chemikum Marburg represented by Dr. Christof Wegscheid-Gerlach. “The Inventors’ Lab exemplifies how scientific topics of the future can be communicated at the intersection of school and university, and thus how both levels of education can be interlinked.”


Dr. Christof Wegscheid-Gerlach
Philipps-Universität Marburg
SFB 1083 project Oe
Tel.: 06421 28-25843

Measuring spatially-resolved potential drops at semiconductor hetero-interfaces using 4D-STEM– Publication by A5 (Volz) in Small Methods

The team of project A5 of the SFB successfully measured the potential drop across a hetero interface using four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy

Characterizing long-range electric fields and built-in potentials in functional materials at nano to micrometer scales is of supreme importance for optimizing devices. For example, the functionality of semiconductor heterostructures or battery materials is determined by the electric fields established at interfaces, which can also vary spatially. In this study, we propose momentum-resolved four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy (4D-STEM) for the quantification of these potentials. So far, dynamic effects have inhibited the quantitative evaluation of fields at heterointerfaces. The scientists in SFB project A5 carefully adopted their experimental setup to overcome these challenges and for the first time quantitatively measured the potential drop across a GaAs/AlAs interface.

In detail, a precession electron diffraction (PED) system was introduced, which rocks the impinging electron beam at a rate of 1 kHz, while scanning across the sample. This significantly reduces the impact of dynamic effects in the 4D data. In turn, an energy filter minimizes the influence of inelastic scattering.

Using the method proposed, allows the quantification of intentional or parasitic electric fields even in the presence of heterointerfaces. Accordingly, the characterization of real-life devices, like solar cells or battery materials, which often involve a multitude of such internal interfaces, becomes feasibly to optimize their performance.


V. Chejarla, S. Ahmed, J. Belz, J. Scheunert, A. Beyer, K. Volz
Measuring spatially-resolved potential drops at semiconductor hetero-interfaces using 4D-STEM
Small Methods (2023) 2300453 DOI:10.1002/smtd.202300453


Prof. Dr. Kerstin Volz
Philipps-Universität Marburg
SFB 1083 project A5, A14, B13
Tel.: 06421 28-22297

Interface engineering of charge-transfer excitons in 2D lateral heterostructures – Publication by B9 (Malic) in Nature Communications

In a joined publication, the groups of Ermin Malic, Bernhard Urbaszek and Andrey Turchanin explained the behavior of quasiparticles in composite semiconductor nanosheets

In a lateral heterostructure, an electron-hole pair spans the interface between two mated TMD semiconductor surfaces. (Figure: Giuseppe Meneghini)

The presence of bound charge transfer (CT) excitons at the interface of monolayer lateral heterojunctions has been a topic of debate in the literature. However, unlike interlayer excitons in vertical heterostructures, their confirmation through observation is still pending.

In this work, a microscopic study investigating signatures of bound CT excitons in photoluminescence spectra at the interface of hBN-encapsulated lateral MoSe2-WSe2 heterostructures is presented. The fully microscopic and material-specific theory illustrates the many-particle processes behind the formation of CT excitons and details their potential manipulation through interface- and dielectric engineering. For junction widths smaller than the Coulomb-induced Bohr radius the appearance of a low-energy CT exciton is predicted. This theory is further compared with experimental low-temperature photoluminescence measurements showing emission in the bound CT excitons energy range. It is observed that CT excitons in hBN-encapsulated heterostructures possess small binding energies of just a few tens meV while exhibiting significant dipole moments. These properties make them ideal materials for optoelectronics applications that take advantage of efficient exciton dissociation and fast dipole-driven exciton propagation.

The joint theory-experiment study presents a significant step towards a microscopic understanding of optical properties of technologically promising 2D lateral heterostructures.

Informational Material

Press release of the university of Marburg (in German).


R. Rosati, I. Paradisanos, L. Huang, Z. Gan, A. George, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, L. Lombez, P. Renucci, A. Turchanin, B. Urbaszek, E. Malic
Interface engineering of charge-transfer excitons in 2D lateral heterostructures
Nat Commun 14 (2023) 2438 DOI:10.1038/s41467-023-37889-9


Prof. Dr. Ermin Malic
Philipps-Universität Marburg
SFB 1083 project B9
Tel.: 06421 28-22640