Nanowire arrays interfaced with biological cells have been demonstrated to be potent tools for advanced applications such as sensing, stimulation, or drug delivery. This study published in Advanced Materials Interfaces demonstrates the generation of functional human iPSC-derived neurons on nanowire arrays with varying geometrical specifications. The cell/nanowire interactions range from fakir-like states to nanowire-encapsulating states depending on the array characteristics. The neurons are functional with similar kinetics of the action potentials highlighting the equivalence of the nanowire arrays for neuronal differentiation.



A press release entitled “Cell-culture microarchitectures for 3D neuronal networks” has been published by Nanoscribe GmbH referring to the work of Cornelius Fendler published in Advanced Biosystems.




A tech note entitled “Fabrication and Characterization of Nanofluidic Devices for DNA Optical Mapping” has been published by Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH, Germany and Parisa Bayat, Robert H. Blick, and Irene Fernández-Cuesta.

A joined publication entitled “Electrochemical Engineering of Nanoporous Materials for Photocatalysis: Fundamentals, Advances, and Perspectives” with the group of Dr. Abel Santos (University Adelaide) has been publishedin ACS Langmuir

Abstract: Photocatalysis comprises a variety of light-driven processes in which solar energy is converted into green chemical energy to drive reactions such as water splitting for hydrogen energy generation, degradation of environmental pollutants, CO2 reduction and NH3 production. Electrochemically engineered nanoporous materials are attractive photocatalyst platforms for a plethora of applications due to their large effective surface area, highly controllable and tuneable light-harvesting capabilities, efficient charge carrier separation and enhanced diffusion of reactive species. Such tailor-made nanoporous substrates with rational chemical and structural designs provide new exciting opportunities to develop advanced optical semiconductor structures capable of performing precise and versatile control over light–matter interactions to harness electromagnetic waves with unprecedented high efficiency and selectivity for photocatalysis. This review introduces fundamental developments and recent advances of electrochemically engineered nanoporous materials and their application as platforms for photocatalysis, with a final prospective outlook about this dynamic field.

A new publication “Low-Temperature Vapor-Solid Growth of ZnO Nanowhiskers for Electron Field Emission”  from Stefanie and Carina has been published in MDPI Coatings.


One-dimensional zinc oxide nanostructures have aroused interest from scientists and engineers for electron field emission applications because of their experimentally accessible high aspect ratio in combination with their low work function. A comprehensive study of the vapor-solid growth of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowhiskers by utilizing zinc acetylacetonate hydrate and oxygen at low temperature (580 °C) is reported herein. The nanowhiskers morphology was investigated by varying different growth parameters, such as temperature, substrate type and position, gas flow, precursor amount, and growth time. According to the obtained parameter dependences, the process was optimized to achieve homogenous crystalline nanowhiskers with high aspect ratios and clearly defined surface facets and tips. We show electron field emission measurements from tailor-made ZnO nanowhiskers grown on n-doped silicon, titanium thin films, and free-standing silicon nitride membranes, revealing field emission turn-on fields significantly lower compared to a perfect flat ZnO thin film. Especially the latter devices—ZnO nanowhiskers on a free-standing membrane—might pave the way into a novel nanomembrane detector unit in proteomics, which can significantly extend the mass range of current time-of-flight mass spectrometers.

Paul defended his PhD thesis successfully on the 4th of November. Congratulations!

Jonas is going to defend his PhD thesis entitled: “Electron Spin Resonance Studies on Spin-Orbit Interactions
in Graphene” on Monday, 30.09.2019 at 1pm in CHyN (room 3.01).

Please support him and his work by showing up.

We are seeking for a PhD candidate!

The aim of the project is to develop and to optimize high-quality superconductor-insulator-superconductor multilayer systems using atomic layer deposition (ALD). The work is carried out in close cooperation with the Helmholtz Center DESY, the Institute for Experimental Physics at Universität Hamburg (project management) and external project partners.

ALD and post-deposition processes of single and multilayer superconducting thin film structures shall be developed, characterized, and optimized. The characterization of thin films consists of structural investigations (AFM, spectrometric ellipsometry, XRD, SEM / EDX) as well as studies on the low-temperature, magnetic field-dependent transport properties of the superconducting thin films.

The job  includes participation in project communication and documentation, the presentation of the results at (inter)national workshops and conferences as well as their publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

If your are interested please contact Dr. Robert Zierold (

A new publication “Sculpturing wafer-scale nanofluidic devices for DNA single molecule analysis” of Irene’s ERC Starting Grant Group has been published today in RSC Nanoscale.


We present micro- and nanofluidic devices with 3D structures and nanochannels with multiple depths for the analysis of single molecules of DNA. Interfacing the nanochannels with graded and 3D inlets allows the improvement of the flow and controls not only the translocation speed of the DNA but also its conformation inside the nanochannels. The complex, multilevel, multiscale fluidic circuits are patterned in a simple, two-minute imprinting step. The stamp, the key of the technology, is directly milled by focused ion beam, which allows patterning nanochannels with different cross sections and depths, together with 3D transient inlets, all at once. Having such a variety of structures integrated in the same sample allows studying, optimizing and directly comparing their effect on the DNA flow. Here, DNA translocation is studied in long (160 µm) and short (5–40 µm) nanochannels. We study the homogeneity of the stretched molecules in long, meander nanochannels made with this technology. In addition, we analyze the effect of the different types of inlet structures interfacing short nanochannels. We observe pre-stretching and an optimal flow, and no hairpin formation, when the inlets have gradually decreasing widths and depths. In contrast, when the nanochannels are faced with an abrupt transition, we observe clogging and hairpin formation. In addition, 3D inlets strongly decrease the DNA molecules’ speed before they enter the nanochannels, and help capturing more DNA molecules. The robustness and versatility of this technology and DNA testing results evidence the potential of imprinted devices in biomedical applications as low cost, disposable lab-on-a-chip devices.