Green hydrogen

Nanocubes as optimal catalysts

For the production of green hydrogen to gain momentum, one thing above all is needed: nanoparticles that act as catalysts to control the process of splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. The particles should be inexpensive, effective and environmentally compatible – and cube-shaped. This is what researchers from the UDE and the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) have now discovered. Their proof that cube-shaped nanoparticles are much more effective than spherical ones paves the way for the targeted design of efficient catalysts for green hydrogen. They reported on their findings in the scientific journal Advanced Functional Materials*.

© RUB, Marquard

Precious metals such as platinum or iridium are rare and expensive, but so far they are the most effective catalysts for the production of green hydrogen. A team led by Prof. Dr. Kristina Tschulik (RUB) and Prof. Dr. Rossitza Pentcheva (UDE) have set themselves the task of changing that. In the researchers’ focus: Oxide nanoparticles made of base metal, such as cobalt oxide. They come into question as catalysts for the half-reaction of water splitting, namely for the formation of oxygen. “Oxygen evolution as a partial reaction of the so-called water electrolysis is much more complex than hydrogen evolution and thus represents a bottleneck effect for the production of green hydrogen ” says Pentcheva.

The team around Kristina Tschulik has developed a method to analyze individual particles directly in solution. This makes it possible to compare the activity of different nanomaterials with each other and thus elucidate the influence of particle properties, such as their shape and composition, on water splitting. The result: the surface of cube-shaped cobalt oxide nanoparticles is much more active in the formation of oxygen than the surfaces of their spherical counterparts.

Through quantum mechanical simulations, including on the supercomputer at UDE, Rossitza Pentcheva’s team provides an explanation for the phenomenon and a deeper insight into the underlying mechanism: the higher catalytic activity of the cubic nanoparticles compared to the spherical ones is due to the different active sites on the two surfaces. “Understanding at the atomic level how the crystallographic orientation of the surface and the catalytic activity are related is the basis for the targeted design of new catalysts,” physicist Pentcheva says.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Rossitza Pentcheva, Tel. 0203 379 2238,

Go to UDE press release

UDE Theme Day on March 2, 2023

“Research for Sustainable Solutions@UDE”

With the UDE theme day “Research for Sustainable Solutions@UDE”, the UDE launches its strategy process sustainability and starts with research: exciting impulse lectures from the fields of energy, water, health, mobility as well as transformation and communication await you. Following the presentations and in world cafés in the afternoon, the impulses and other aspects can be discussed and deepened in an interdisciplinary way. As a large scientific institution, the UDE is developing a sustainability concept that includes three strands of action that are to be aligned, coordinated and networked in such a way that the knowledge and actions of the UDE have an impact:

1. Research for Sustainable Solutions@UDE – Our science is creative and innovative. What scientific solutions do we provide to combat climate change, for better use of energy and raw materials, and for a future-proof life, among other things?

2 Teaching Sustainable Solutions@UDE – The graduates of the future – we are committed to education for sustainable development!

3. Practicing Sustainable Solutions@UDE – We are shaping our campus, working on it and living on it in a way that positively impacts the sustainability balance of the region!

Applications are open until February 16, 2023. Please find the program below.

Further Information:

To registration

UDE Theme Day “Research for Sustainable Solutions@UDE ” – Program:

09.30 a.m. Welcome by the Rector Prof. Dr. Barbara Albert

09.45 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. Topic block Energy  

Prof. Dr. Harry Hoster / Prof. Dr. Christoph Weber: 

“Energy technologies, energy markets and climate neutrality”

10.30 a.m. to 11.15 a.m. Topic block Water  

Prof. Dr. Bernd Sures / Prof. Dr. Florian Leese: 

“Water systems at risk – interdisciplinary approaches to sustainable development” 

Coffee break

11.45 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Topic block Health 

Prof. Dr. Susanne Moebus / Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wasem: 

“Climate and Sustainability – Consequences for Public Health and Health Care Systems”

Lunch break

1.30 p.m. to 2.15 p.m. Topic block Mobility

Prof. Dr. Dirk Wittowsky / Prof. Dr. Bernd Noche: 

“Sustainable mobility and logistics structures”

2.15 p.m. to 3.00 p.m. Topic block Transformation and Communication 

Prof. Dr. Jens Martin Gurr / Dr. Cornelia Ulbert:

“Social-ecological transformation and climate communication” 

Coffee break

15.30 hrs to 16.30 hrs Worldcafé I  

4.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Worldcafé II 

5.30 p.m. Summary and conclusion 

Moderation: Dr. Martin Florack, Science Campus NRW, Oberhausen

CENIDE Peer Mentoring Program 2023

Mentoring is defined as helping and advising another person, and within a peer group supporting each other is the main goal!

The brand new CENIDE Peer Mentoring Program is a program to support you as early career researchers (PhD students & Postdocs) in reaching a self-defined personal goal within the period of one year. It is also more than a standard Mentoring Program, it gives the opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange and to build your own scientific network. It will start in March 2023 and a registration is now possible!

Within this program we will form peer groups consisting of 4-5 mentees and 2 experienced CENIDE mentors from different disciplines (junior group leaders from Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, and Medicine Departments). Within the peer groups, you can get support to reach your personal goal through the experiences of the mentors, but also from your other group members! Therefore, you will be in both roles, the one of a mentee, who seeks advice, but also in the role of a mentor, who gives advice and support. The goals can be all different, for example: build up a community, boost your project and time management, finish your PhD or current project, attending the first big conference or writing the first funding proposal, etc..

The overall goal is to accompany you in reaching that self-defined personal goal, but also self-development, boost of your confidence, training of important soft skills like negotiation and team leading, but also in (self-) presentation or networking.

There will be fixed appointments with all participants and mentors like the Kick-Off Meeting in March 2023, a Training Day with workshops and seminars, a Two-Day Retreat, a Christmas Theme Party and the Final Ceremony where you will get a certificate for your participation. Additionally, you will meet with your peer groups on a regular basis (about six times during this one-year period).

For registration, please fill out a short registration form (which you can get from Miriam Böhm), send a current CV and a short motivational letter (including your expectations on the program and first ideas for your personal goal) to Miriam Böhm via e-mail:

Registration deadline is January 27th, 2023. 

If you have any kind of question or simply want more information on the CENIDE Peer Mentoring, please reach out to Miriam Böhm as well.

UDE professor encourages charity run

Raising awareness for breast cancer sufferers

On May 14, a charity run will take place in the Bürgerpark in Dorsten under the motto “Fighting breast cancer together”. The impetus for the run came from CENIDE member Prof. Dr. Khadijeh Mohri and her family, who recently overcame the disease themselves. The goal of the event is to raise awareness about breast cancer and collect donations. In addition to information and conversation opportunities for breast cancer patients, friends and family, self-help opportunities and wigs will be available. The proceeds will go to the breast center at the St. Elisabeth Hospital in Dorsten and the support association of the breast center at the Evangelische Kliniken Gelsenkirchen.

© Petra Berkenbusch

The event was the brainchild of Prof. Dr. Khadijeh Mohri, who was at the peak of her career when she discovered a lump in her breast in November 2021. She had to inform her colleagues, superiors and her two children about her breast cancer diagnosis. Having overcome the disease, she and her family are hopeful for a cancer-free future. However, the family wants to continue to raise awareness about breast cancer.

On January 14, the website will open for registration for the sponsored run. The run is embedded in numerous information and conversation opportunities for breast cancer patients, their friends and family members. The donations will go to the breast center at the St. Elisabeth Hospital in Dorsten and to the support association of the breast center at the Evangelische Kliniken Gelsenkirchen. Ali Abdali, Mohri’s husband, said, ” Both have many patients from Dorsten, so their services, which go beyond mere treatment, also benefit Dorsten residents.” Chief physician Dr. Simone Sowa is part of the team of medical experts who will be available on May 14 to provide information about the charity run. But it will also be about self-help offers or wigs.

Three running distances will be offered: 800 meters (start at 10:30 a.m.), 2,500 meters (start at 11 a.m.) and 5,000 meters (start at 11:30 a.m.). Walkers and fast runners are equally welcome. The registration fee is 10 euros for adults and 5 euros for children.

Further information:

To the original article of the Dorstener Zeitung


Quantum Tech Workshop at CENIDE

Experts to present latest research on February 24th

Quantum technologies is an emerging field of engineering, physics, and computer science encompassing technologies that rely on the properties of quantum mechanics, especially quantum entanglement, quantum superposition, and quantum tunneling. Researchers and experts in the field of quantum technologies are invited to participate in the CENIDE Quantum Tech Workshop on February 24, 2023 from 1 – 4 p.m at the NETZ 2.42. The event, which was originally scheduled for Dec. 9 but had to be canceled due to the cyberattack, will focus on discussing the latest development and research in quantum technologies.

The workshop will feature talks by researchers from CENIDE, UDE and Frauenhofer IMS from a variety of disciplines, including physics, engineering and computer science, on topics such as quantum computing, sensors, cryptography, simulation, measurement and imaging. Participants will have the opportunity to present their own research experiences in quantum technologies in a short 5-minute talk.

All those interested in the field of quantum technologies are invited to learn about the latest advances and exchange ideas with other experts in the field.

Further information and registration:

Dr. Tobias Teckentrup,

ICAN user meeting 2023

ICAN invites you to the sixth ICAN user meeting on Wednesday, February 08, 2023, from 11:15 am to 12:45 pm in the NETZ Research Building (Room 2.42).

This meeting will provide an opportunity to learn about ICAN and to directly address and clarify questions in an open discussion. The aim of the event is to strengthen and further improve the communication between users and ICAN. Whether you are a student, PhD student, postdoc or professor, you are all welcome to attend this event.

Please note: The annual participation in the safety instruction is still obligatory for all users who perform work in the ICAN microscopy center (user operation). Without this instruction, users lose the authorization to perform work in the user operation. Therefore, please approach ICAN in advance if you are unable to attend the above-mentioned date.

Please sign up until Friday, 03.02.2023, via the following link:

Further information:


Nanoparticles and Proton Therapy for Cancer Treatment – NanoPorT

The SYNGOPRO project and organizing committee are pleased to invite researchers and experts to the first SYNGOPRO Workshop on Nanoparticles and Proton Therapy for Cancer Treatment – NanoPorT. The event, which will be held on January 26, 2023, will be held entirely online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The workshop will feature keynotes from Prof. Dr. George Iliakis of the University Hospital Essen, Prof. Dr. Inge Hermann of ETH Zurich and Prof. Dr. Oliver Jäkel of DKFZ Heidelberg. Participants can also look forward to discussions, poster presentations and an online networking opportunity to exchange ideas, experiences and knowledge.

The workshop will be held in English, and international researchers are also welcome to attend and present their latest findings.

The event is intended to provide an opportunity for professionals in the field to learn about the latest advances in nanoparticles in biomedical research, proton therapy, and cancer treatment, as well as to discuss challenges and future perspectives in these areas.

Registrations to Maike Müller at with name, surname, institution and mail address.

 Further information:

Maike Müller,

Cooperation Seminar | Fuel Cells and Batteries

Characterization along the process chain, from powder to functional layer

CENIDE and the Zentrum für BrennstoffzellenTechnik (ZBT) together with Anton Paar Germany GmbH organize for the second time the seminar “Fuel Cells and Batteries: Characterization along the process chain, from powder to functional layer” from March 29 to March 30, 2023 for users involved in the synthesis and characterization of electrochemical components as well as process control during their production.

On the way to a more sustainable future, energy storage by batteries and energy conversion by fuel cells play a crucial role to achieve CO2-neutral cycles. The seminar will cover the most important topics in fuel cell and battery technology using practical examples and will be led by experienced scientists and specialists in this field.

The aim of the seminar, which will be held in Duisburg, is to provide a deeper understanding of the entire process chain from powder to the final electrochemical functional unit in order to realize high-performance electrodes for electrochemical functional units.

There is an early bird discount of 10% off the regular price for registration by February 15, 2023. The cost of the seminar is €785 plus VAT for regular participants and €498 plus VAT for participants from university institutions.

The legal corona regulations of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia apply at the time of the event. The seminar is aimed at anyone interested in the development and manufacture of fuel cells and batteries and the registration deadline is March 28, 2023.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Doris Segets,
Karin Helwig,

Less Greenhouse Gases through Hydrogen Engines

DFG funding for engineering sciences

Hydrogen can be used CO2-free not only in fuel cells, but also in engines to power vehicles. How such hydrogen engines can run smoothly and efficiently is being researched by several universities led by the UDE in a project that, in its second funding period, is looking at the use of hydrogen in gasoline engines. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding it with about 2.8 million euros, 852,000 of which will go to the UDE.

scharfsinn86 –

Since 2019, the four universities of Aachen, Darmstadt, Duisburg-Essen and Stuttgart have been investigating how the combustion process in car engines can be optimized. While the first funding period focused on conventional gasoline fuels, the scientists are now researching hydrogen as an alternative fuel. The project is divided among the universities into seven subprojects. Two of them are at the UDE, which also provides the project spokesperson, Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kaiser.

His group is currently investigating the mixing of fuel and air in experiments using optical measurement techniques in the engine cylinder. Together with ignition, this process is one of the main influences on cyclic fluctuations.

In the second subproject, a team led by CENIDE member UDE professor Andreas Kempf is using simulations to analyze how cyclic fluctuations and the stability of the engine process change when the components of the fuel are varied. “The goal of our projects is to be able to predict the irregular combustion processes and fluctuations. Then we could develop appropriate countermeasures to optimize hydrogen engines in efficiency and reliability,” Professor Kaiser said.

Further information:

To the original UDE article

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kaiser, Institute for Energy and Material Processes,

Silicon-carbon anodes for more powerful lithium-ion batteries

EU funding for UDE

The Duisburg-based PCC Group company PCC Thorion GmbH and its research partners, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg and the Center for Nanointegration Duisburg-Essen (CENIDE) of the University of Duisburg-Essen, have launched a research project aimed at enhancing the performance of lithium-ion batteries. EU funding of 3.5 million euros is being used for the project. The aim is to scale up to industrial scale the production of the innovative silicon-carbon composite developed by PCC Thorion and Fraunhofer ISE as anode material and silicon nanoparticles suitable for this purpose.

Silicon production of PCC Group company PCC BakkiSilicon hf. in Iceland, primarily using electricity from geothermal energy. © PCC SE

A composite material developed by PCC Thorion and Fraunhofer ISE, which is considered a particularly effective anode active material for lithium-ion batteries, increases their capacity and enables longer ranges and shorter charging times. The material, a silicon-carbon composite, can be easily integrated into existing manufacturing processes and has shown exceptional results in terms of specific capacity and cycling stability. With this silicon-carbon composite, the collaboration partners aim to provide the fast-growing battery industry with a drop-in material that can be easily integrated into existing manufacturing processes and replace the graphite anode material that has been used to date. The consortium has also begun work on complete battery cells. With EU funding, the conditions are in place to expand and scale up production. The raw material silicon for the composite is produced by PCC BakkiSilicon exclusively from renewable energy sources, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of the material.

Commercially, the batteries could be used in electric cars, particularly if charging times are reduced and range extended.

Further information: