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Nickel Group

Welcome to the Nickel Research Group on X-ray diffraction and electronicsPentacene - a five ring molecule (polyacene) which forms highly ordered thin films.

We like to explore electronic semiconductor materials beyond Silicon. For organic electronics, aromatic and conjugated molecules such as DNTT, C60 or pentacene are deposited to build field-effect-transistors, solar cells, and biosensors. We combine these with 2D materials such as MoS2 and lead halide perovskites. We also employ natures own building blocks, lipids, in order to interface electronics with biolocical systems.

Our goal is to understand the physical mechanisms which govern such systems. For this purpose we relate functional properties such as electrical transport to microscopic properties obtained from x-ray and optical characterization techniques. In particular, we employ brilliant x-rays at synchrotron sources (DESY, ESRF) to unravel molecular arrangements at the nm scale. In some cases, we also use x-rays to resolve large marcomolecular structures build by our collegues in DNA research.

We contineously offer master and bachlor thesis of these topics. Depending on your interest, you can either learn how to use clean room techniques,  x-ray diffraction techniques, or advanced optical characterization methods. Many of our projects involve recording of experimental data by instruments that we build ourselves within a Master or PhD thesis. We also start to collect larger and larger data sets in our x-ray experiments due to the availability of x-ray detectors with many pixels. Here you can learn about data processing and analysis by python tools.     


Semiconductors as decal stickers
No more error-prone evaporation deposition, drop casting or printing: together with Prof. Andrey Turchanin we have developed organic semiconductor nanosheets, which can easily be removed from a growth substrate and placed on other substrates. Read thnanosheete full story in the LMU press coverage or directly in the Advanced Materials  article.

Transferable organic semiconductor nanosheets for application in electronic devices
S. J. Noever, M. Eder, F. del Giudice, J. Martin, F. Werkmeister, S. Hallwig, S. Fischer, O. Seeck, N.-E. Weber, C. Liewald, F. Keilmann, A. Turchanin, B. Nickel
Advanced Materials DOI: 10.1002/adma.201606283 (2017) get article


Our research work on imaging structural phases in organic semiconductors was published in Nature Communications in June 2014. See also LMU press release "Organic semiconductors: Nano-imaging probes molecular disorder" for the full story.

Sub-micron phase coexistence in small-molecule organic thin films revealed by infrared nano-imaging
Christian Westermeier, Adrian Cernescu, Sergiu Amarie, Clemens Liewald, Fritz Keilmann, Bert Nickelnat_comm_133px
Nature Communications 5, Article Number 4101 (2014) get article


Our novel technique to image defects in organic semiconductors was selected as the cover article of the Advanced Materials issue 40 in October 2013. Many thanks to Chriss Hohmann (NIM) who designed the motive. See also LMU-news for the full story.

publication_award_cens_cwThin Films: Mapping of Trap Densities and Hotspots in Pentacene Thin-Film Transistors by Frequency-Resolved Scanning Photoresponse Microscopy
Christian Westermeier, Matthias Fiebig and Bert Nickel
Advanced Materials 25 (40) p. 5677 (2013) get article

In recognition for his work, Christian Westermeier was awarded the Best Poster Prize of the symposia at the E-MRS meeting 2012 (Strasbourg) and the MRS meeting 2013 (Boston). Our article was granted the Publication Award 2013 of the Center for NanoScience (CeNS).



Our research on ambipolar transistors made it to the cover of the Advanced Materials issue 15 of April (2013). Many thanks to Chriss Hohmann (NIM) who designed the motive. See also NIM-news for the full story.

poster_emrs_snThin Film Transistors: Dual Channel Operation Upon n-Channel Percolation in a Pentacene-C60 Ambipolar Organic Thin Film Transistor
Simon J. Noever, Stefan Fischer and Bert Nickel
Advanced Materials 25 (15) p 2105 (2013) get article

At the E-MRS spring meeting in May 2013, Simon Noever was awarded the Best Poster Prize in recognition for his results.