Training Modules

High-resolution imaging with atomic force microscopy (Area A: Synthesis and Characterization)

The students will gain insight into imaging principles based on a special system that is either topic of a PhD student from the Kühnle group or topic of the guest student. In the latter case, the feasibility needs to be discussed in advance.

We offer: 
- High-resolution imaging with atomic force microscopy (AFM) in UHV/air/liquids
- High-resolution imaging with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) in UHV/air
- Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM) measurements in UHV

Duration: 5 days within one week
No. of participants: 1
Possible Training Start: no limitation, 3 times/ year

Contact Person: Prof. Angelika Kühnle, Phone: 39-23930, Email:


Photoemission Electron Spectromicroscopy (Area A: Synthesis and Characterization)

The students will gain insight into the technique of photoemission electron microscopy wich provides a high spatial resolution for imaging of conductive surfaces. It will be possible to investigate model systems from the group or to bring own structures. In the latter case, the feasibility needs to be discussed in advance.  

We offer:
- Theory of photoemission electron microscopy as a near field probe
- High-resolution imaging with photoemission electron microscopy by ultrafast laser excitation
- Photoemission spectroscopy
- Time resolved electron microscopy of plasmonic systems  

Requirements:
- Laser safety instructions (can be completed at the beginning of the training)

Duration: 2 days in a row
No. of participants: 2-3
Possible Training Start: no limitation, 2/year

Contact Person: Prof. Martin Aeschlimann, Phone: 0631 205 2322, Email:


Gel-electrophorese (Area A: Synthesis and Characterization)

Gold nanoparticles of various sizes will be functionalized with biocompatible polymers expressing charged endgroups. Afterwards, the particles will be separated  by agarose gel electrophoresis according to their size/charge.

We offer:
- Surface functionalization of gold nanoparticles
- Determination of the surface charge of the particles

Duration: 1 day within one week
No. of participants: 1-2
Possible Start for first training: no limitation
How often: max. 3 /year

Contact Person: Tanja Eich, Phone: 39-24855, Email:
                          Prof. Dr. Carsten Sönnichsen, Email:


Introduction to Polymer Synthesis: "Radical Polymerization" (Area A: Synthesis and Characterization)

The students will gain insight into the formation of high molecular weight polymers via radical polymerization. Radical polymerization is the most widely applied method to prepare polymers and plastics in industry but is also performed in several university research labs to generate polymers for various applications (from softeners, additives to biomedical devices or nanoparticles). It will be possible to get hands on classical as well as modern methods for radical polymerization techniques in the chemistry lab with subsequent characterization of the materials. 

We offer:
- polymer characterization techniques (light scattering, gel permeation chromatography, etc.)
- controlled and “free” radical polymerization techniques (practical lab course)

Requirements:
- safety instructions for working with chemicals (can be completed at the beginning of the training)

Duration: 2 days in a row
No. of participants: 2-3
Possible Training Start: no limitation, 2/year

Contact Person: Holger Frey, Email:
                          Frederik Wurm, Email:


Atom Probe Tomography (Area A: Synthesis and Characterization)

Atom probe tomography (APT) produces 3-D compositional images at the atomic scale with very high analytical sensitivity (10 atomic parts per million). It does so by controllably extracting atom (ions) from a specimen with a very high electric field applied to the surface. The extracted ions are projected onto a position-sensitive detector for recording their location. Time-of-flight measurements on the ions provide their isotopic identity as a mass-to-charge ratio of the ion. Because the fundamental data format is the 3-D position (with a spatial resolution of 0.2 nm) and identity of atoms (isotopes, actually) in a volume containing potentially hundreds of millions of atoms, many types of analytical information may be gleaned.

Duration: 1-2 days
No. of participants: 6
Possible Training Start: no limitation

Contact Person: Prof. Michael Kopnarski, Phone: 0631 / 205 733001, Email:


EPR spectroscopy (Area A: Synthesis and Characterization)

Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) or electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy is a technique for studying materials with unpaired electrons. The basic concepts of EPR are analogous to those of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), but it is electron spins that are excited instead of the spins of atomic nuclei. Because most stable molecules have all their electrons paired, the EPR technique is less widely used than NMR. However, this limitation also means that EPR offers great specificity, since ordinary chemical solvents and matrices do not give rise to EPR spectra. The benchtop EPR spectrometers of the series MiniScope (X-band, 9.3 - 9.55 GHz) are easy to operate, compact, PC-controlled, high performance devices for every laboratory. Samples from liquids up to solids can be measured at room temperature, –196 °C (liquid nitrogen) or at temperatures between –170 and +200°C. By the scan range of up to 400 mT (optional 550 mT) besides main group element radicals paramagnetic transition metal ions (S = ½) can be detected too.  

We offer:
- Basic theory of EPR spectroscopy within the B.Sc. module „Instrumentelle Analytik“

Duration: 2 h, 2 times per year
No. of participants: 6

- Application of EPR spectroscopy using our X-band MiniScope300 spectrometer. The students will gain insight into EPR measurements (S = ½, solution, powder, frozen solution, variable temperature) based on a special system that is either topic of a PhD student from the Heinze group or topic of the guest student. In the latter case, the feasibility needs to be discussed in advance. Simulations of the spectra can be done using the MatLab program Easy Spin.

Duration: 2 days, possible start after consultation
No. of participants: 3

Contact Person: Prof. Katja Heinze, Phone: 39-25886, Email: 


Theoretical Background Theoretical_Background_Technical_Training_Prof._Heinze.pdf


Introduction to Polymer Synthesis: Polycondensation" (Area A: Synthesis and Characterization)

The students will gain insight into the formation of high molecular weight polymers via polycondensation. Typical every day polymers prepared by such means are Nylon or PET (polyethylene terephthalate). In contrast to chain growth polymerizations, such as radical polymerization, polycondensations (and polyadditions) are step growth polymerizations. These two fundamental polymerization mechanisms will be compared (together with the training module “radical polymerization”) with respect to materials science applications. In the training a classical approaches to polyesters or polyamides can be performed within the chemistry lab, but also modern polymerization protocols will be presented and students will get hands on various materials which they will analyze with state of the art characterization devices.

We offer:
- polymer characterization techniques (light scattering, gel permeation chromatography, etc.)
- polycondensation and/ or polyaddition polymerization (practical lab course)

Requirements:
- safety instructions for working with chemicals (can be completed at the beginning of the training)

Duration: 1 day
No. of participants: 2-3
Possible Training Start: no limitation, 2/year

Contact Person: Holger Frey, Email:
                          Frederik Wurm, Email:


Light microscopy of plasmonic metal nanoparticles (Area A: Synthesis and Characterization)

In this technical training single plasmonic metal nanoparticles will be spectroscopically investigated using a dark-field light microscope. The particles will be synthesized as well.

We offer:
- Spectroscopy of single plasmonic metal nanoparticles

Duration: 1 day within one week
No. of participants: 1-3
Possible Start for first training: no limitation
How often: max. 3 /year

Contact Person: Tanja Eich, Phone: 39-24855, Email:
                          Prof. Dr. Carsten Sönnichsen, Email:


Transmission electron microscopy (Area A: Synthesis and Characterization)

The students will gain insight into several applications of transmission electron microscopy (imaging, spectroscopy and diffraction) necessary to characterize structural features of nanoscaled material. The possibility is provided to work on an topic suggested from the student which needs to be discussed in advance.

We offer:
- High-resolution imaging using transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM)     
- Electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX)
- Electron diffraction (SAED and NED)

Duration: 5 days within one week
No. of participants: 2
Possible Start for first training: no limitation
How often: max. 3 /year

Contact Person: Ute Kolb, Phone: 39-24154 and -24851, Email:
                          Prof. Dr. Carsten Sönnichsen, Email:


Molecular simulations (Area B: Theory and simulation)

Molecular simulations allow to directly visualize microscopic structures and processes and to study quantities that are often difficult to access experimentally. However, simulation results have to be analyzed with care, since the quality of a simulation crucially depends on the quality of the underlying simulation model and the simulation method. Students will get to know basic simulation and analysis techniques (this includes visualization) and be given the opportunity to carry out a small project, based on the topic of their PhD thesis. 

As a pre-requirement, they a requested to attend a course on "Computer simulation methods in statistical physics" (this class is taught regularly - once a year - in the physics department).

Duration: six months (1 hour/week)
No. of participants: 1
Possible Training Start: no limitation

Contact Person: Prof. Dr. Friederike Schmid, Email:


Hands-on training "computational chemistry" (Area B: Theory and Simulation)

Description:MAINZ Students can join the hands-on training "computational chemistry". This training will show the application of quantum-chemical software packages for solving chemical  questions.

Duration: 2 weeks
No. of participants: max. 3
Possible Start for first training: tba
How often: 2/ year

Contact Person: Prof. Jürgen Gauß, Phone: 23736, Email:

For more information, please check the website http://www.tc.uni-mainz.de/728.php


UV-photolithography and dry etching (Area C: Processing)

The course gives an introduction into the basic methods of UV-photolithography and dry etching. A metal layer is structed hands-on by a lift-off technique. This metal layer serves as hard mask for the dry etching process.  

1st 1/2 day:
- oral presentation: Lithography basics
- work in the clean room: photolithography, metal deposition, lift-off 

2nd 1/2 day:
- oral presentation: Dry etching methods
- ion beam etching - sample characterization  

Course can also be arranged as one-day seminar.

Duration: 2 X ½ day or 1 day
No. of participants: 4-6
Possible Training Start: no limitation, 1-2 times/year

Contact Person: Sandra Wolff, Phone: 0631 205-4091, Email:


Principles of Electron Beam Lithography (Area C: Processing)

Description: Electron beam lithography (EBL) is a key technology for the fabrication of nanostructures (sub 100 nanometer) for varied major applications. Examples include spintronics, to study magnetic nanosystems, spin-caloritronics and biological applications (“Lab-on-a-Chip”) to measure thermo physical properties of biological tissues. Furthermore, EBL can be used to write patterns on a variety of materials including silicon, III-V semiconductors and exotic compounds in top down lithography. This training course, given by a professional in the field, is designed for students and engineers who are interested in learning the principles of electron beam lithography.

Requirements: Knowledge in the field of optical lithography. The participants should complete the course “UV-photolithography and dry etching”.

This course involves theory and “hands-on” exercises within the following topics:

  • Theoretical introduction to EBL
  • Introduction to the “Raith Pioneer System”
  • Electron beam optimization
  • Electron beam resist interactions
  • Dose dependencies
  • Proximity effect
  • Resist chemistry
  • Resist exposure and resist development
  • CAD-Design of complex geometry
  • Hands-on exercises

Duration: 3 days in a week
No. of participants: 2
Possible start for first training: no limitation, 2/year
How often: 1 or 2 times a year

Contact person: Stefan Kauschke, Phone: 06131-39-23721, Email:


Influence of molecule deposition parameters on structure formation (Area C: Processing)

The way of preparing molecular films on surfaces can have a crucial influence on the resulting molecular structure. In this training unit, the students will prepare molecular films by various techniques and study the influence of deposition parameters by characterizing the resulting films with atomic force microscopy (AFM).

The training will include:
- Co-deposition, influence of deposition sequence/order and ration
- Influence of coating parameters

Duration: 5 days within one week
No. of participants: 2
Possible Training Start: no limitation, 2x2/ year

Contact Person: Prof. Angelika Kühnle, Phone: 39-23930, Email:


Laser Technology and Laser Cooling (Adrea D: Method Development)

The students will get insight into the basic technologies behind the generation of cold neutral atoms. Cold neutral atoms are the basis for achieving coherent matter waves – Bose-Einstein condensates – or degenerate neutral Fermi gases. Such degenerate gases serve as starting point for many experimental studies of solid state model systems and correlated matter explorations.
During the training unit, the students will build up a magneto-optical trap from scratch together with the necessary laser and vacuum setup. The accompanying lectures are intended as introduction to the field especially for students outside the field of cold atoms.

Specific training aspects:

  • Vacuum technology and generation of ultra-high vacuum
  • Laser technology, Doppler-free laser spectroscopy and different laser stabilization techniques, acousto-optical and electro-optical modulators
  • Gaussian optics, laser beam propagation, focusing
  • Generation of a laser-cooled gas and it‘s detection

Duration: 5 days may be spread over two weeks

No. of participants: 2-6
Possible Training Start: course is offered from spring 2015 on, 2x/year during the semester breaks

Contact Person: Prof. Patrick Windpassinger, Email:


Space and phase resolved measurement of spin waves using Brillouin light scattering spectroscopy (BLS) (Area D: Development)

The students will gain insights  into the technique of Brillouin light scattering (BLS) that is intensively used in the Hillebrands group. BLS offers a method to optically detect coherent and thermal spin waves and thus provides insights into their 2D and frequency distribution inside a magnetic film with a spatial resolution of up to 250 nm. A method to show the phase distribution of coherent spin waves and the wave vector distribution of the spin-wave spectra will also be demonstrated.

We offer:
- Introduction to BLS spectroscopy and space resolved measurements on simple magnetic systems
- Demonstration of the phase resolved measurement technique
- Insighte into the investigation of microscopic magnetic systems  

Requirements:
- Basic knowledge in magnonics

Duration: 2 days in a row
No. of participants: 2
Possible Training Start: no limitation

Contact Person: Prof. Burkard Hillebrands, Phone: 0631-205-4228, Email:


Noise analysis of a home-built instrument (Area D: Development)

High-resolution atomic force microscopy imaging (AFM) requires improving the instrument in order to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. After changes in hardware and electronics, the performance of the instrument needs to be tested for monitoring the success of the modification. The students will gain insight into the routines available for monitoring the instrument performance, including:  

Frequency and noise analysis:       
- Characterization of low noise electronics       
- Use of spectrum analyzer and Lock-In amplifier technology  
- Thermal drift compensation techniques

Duration: 3 days in a row
No. of participants: 2
Possible Training Start: no limitation, max. 2x2 /year

Contact Person: Prof. Angelika Kühnle, Phone: 39-23930, Email:


Modern Polymer Analytics | Fundamental research to biomedical approaches – from GPC to light scattering

The training course will provide a brief theoretical and practical introduction to several principle analytical methods currently used to characterize nanomaterials (GPC, HPLC, light scattering, AF-FFF). The general steps and challenges to develop novel methods for system specific characterization of new nanomaterials will be highlighted. Students will learn how a combination of various physiochemical techniques can lead to a more complete and well defined characterization of a given polymeric system. Additionally, characterization of novel polymeric drug delivery systems in biological application media will be introduced with hands on experiments.

Duration: 3h
No. of participants: 5 every second month
Possible start for first training: Januar 2014

Contact person: Dr. Kristin Mohr, Email: