Ph.D. Clausthal Technical University. Materials Science. 1985.
M.S. Clausthal Technical University. Metallurgy. 1980.
The development of novel materials is an enabling factor for the advancement of technology. To accelerate the conception, fabrication, and deployment of materials with specific functionalities, we pursue a simulation-based predictive design approach, i.e., we devise the methodology, computational framework, and workflow, and apply these tools to develop new materials for energy applications.
Our research repertoire includes first-principles quantum mechanical calculations for the prediction of the electronic structure and charge carrier mobility in organic molecules, reactive molecular dynamics simulations to study the self-assembly behavior of these molecules, and hybrid Monte Carlo/molecular dynamics techniques to investigate structural developments and processes that occur on long time scales. To validate simulation-based predictions we also carry out experimental measurements of structural dynamics and molecular transport phenomena using dielectric impedance spectroscopy and inelastic light scattering. For the latter we established a unique resource for concurrent Raman and Brillouin light scattering measurements, allowing us to simultaneously monitor the chemistry and visco-elastic properties of reacting systems at the nano-scale and in situ, without mechanical contact. Finally, we fabricate nano-porous hybrid organic-inorganic materials, including aerogels, using sol-gel synthesis techniques. Current projects include:
- Design of organic molecular systems with specific electronic properties, long-range order, and high charge carrier mobility for photovoltaic, sensor, and light emission application
- Development of solid state electrolytes for lithium battery applications
- Fabrication of light-weight high-strength composite materials
- Investigation of interfacial structures and phenomena pertaining to electronic and thermal transport processes, rheology, mechanical strength, toughness, and adhesion.
B.G. Kim, C.G. Zhen, E.J. Jeong, J. Kieffer, and J.S. Kim, ‘Organic Dye Design Tools for Efficient Photo-Current Generation in Dye Sensitized Solar Cells; Exciton Binding Energy and Electron Acceptor,’ Adv. Func. Mat. 22, 1606 (2012)
C.G. Zhen, Y.F. Dai, W.J. Zeng, Z. Ma, Z.K. Chen, and J. Kieffer, ‘Achieving Highly Efficient Fluorescent Blue Organic Light-Emitting Diodes Through Optimizing Molecular Structures and Device Configuration,’ Advanced Functional Materials 21, 699 (2011)
C. Zhen, Z.K. Chen, Q.D. Liu, Y.F. Dai, R.Y.C. Shin, S.Y. Chang, and J. Kieffer, ‘Fluorene Based Oligomers for Highly Efficient and Stable Blue Organic Light-Emitting Diodes,’ Advanced Materials 21, 2425 (2009)
C. Zhen, U. Becker, and J. Kieffer, ‘Tuning Electronic Properties of Functionalized Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxanes: A DFT and TDDFT Study,’ J. Phys. Chem. A 113, 9707 (2009)
L. Huang, M. Durandurdu, and J. Kieffer, ‘Transformation Pathways of Silica under High Pressure,’ Nature Materials 5, 977 (2006) M. Philipp, U. Müller, R. Sanctuary, J. Kieffer, W. Possart, and J.K. Krüger, ‘On the interplay between transport and structure formation at epoxy-hardener interfaces visualized by scanning Brillouin microscopy,’ Soft Matter 7, 118 (2011)
L. Sui, L. Huang, P. Podsiadlo, N.A. Kotov, and J. Kieffer, ‘Brillouin light scattering investigation of the mechanical properties of layer-by-layer assembled cellulose nanocrystal films,’ Macromolecules 43, 9541 (2010)
M. Aldridge, C. Shankar, C.G. Zhen, L. Sui, J. Kieffer, M. Caruso, and J. Moore, ‘Combined Experimental and Simulation Study of the Cure Kinetics of DCPD,’ J. Composite Materials 44, 2605 (2010)