The research of the Unruh group is focused to interface controlled functional colloidal systems which are studied predominantly by X-ray (SAXS, GISAXS, GIXD, XRR), neutron (SANS, QENS), and light scattering (PCS). The systems of interest range from organic nanoparticles for pharmaceutical applications to semiconductor quantum dots and noble metal nanoparticles used for light harvesting and medical applications. These studies on nanoparticles and dispersions are complemented by investigations of the nanostructure of printed electronic thin films and devices, self-assembled monolayers and complex multilayers on metal, semiconductor, and oxide substrates. A special emphasis is put on the molecular arrangement at solid-liquid and liquid-liquid interfaces of the complex systems mentioned above. This is closely related to our studies on the structure and dynamics of biomimetic membranes and molecular liquids.
A main advantage of the scattering techniques used is that in most cases the systems of interest can be studied without any sample preparation which allows the in situ and operando observation of processes. Thus, a major aspect of our work is the study of formation, growth, and ageing of structures within particulate systems, thin layers, and other complex systems.