In the field of nanomaterials, the focus is on a deeper understanding of effects based on the nanostructuring of particles or the nanoporosity of materials. The findings are used in application-oriented work with other groups of ZAE Bayern or external partners to develop functional materials for the field of energy technology, such as energy storage systems or thermal insulation components.

The focus in the field of synthesis is on nanomaterials that are produced using a sol-gel process. These form the basis for composites that allow the integration of several functionalities in one material and also facilitate process steps and improve handling in the application.

At the same time, characterization methods are developed that are tailored to the new material types and thus deliver artefact-free parameters. Particular attention is paid to methods that can simultaneously capture several physical properties or can be used to track process steps (in-situ measurement methods). Examples include in-situ optical or in-situ dilatometric measurement methods during gas adsorption analysis, the determination of product composition in thermally induced reactions with fast gas chromatography and mass spectrometry or the monitoring of the sol-gel transition using temperature measurement.

Fields of Research


Nanostructuring of materials allows the development of new combinations of physical properties. In this area, the focus is currently mainly on nanoporous materials based on sol-gel, which have a three-dimensionally cross-linked solid state phase as well as a three-dimensionally linked pore phase. Adjustable parameters with regard to different applications are the total porosity, the average pore size or pore size distribution, the specific surface area and the properties of the so-called micropores (< 2nm).

The working group Nano-Materials deals with:

  • The synthesis of monolithic and powdery nanoporous inorganic and organic materials (also as precursors of synthetic carbons) and derived composites
  • their characterization and development of new or adapted methods suitable for characterizing nanoporous materials
  • selected applications of nanoporous materials.


Dr. Gudrun Reichenauer
+49 931 70564-328


Development of thermal insulation system components

In order to reduce condensation on insulated facades, low-e colours are developed which combine a white colour impression in the visible with a low heat radiation in the infrared.

Especially in the case of very well insulated facades, the surface temperature can drop below the air temperature due to heat radiation to the surrounding environment and especially to the cold night sky, so condensation on the facade surface often precipitates. In the long term, this results in an algae coating or greening of the facade, mainly in the case of composite thermal insulation systems, which on the one hand reduces the visual impression and on the other hand damages the building fabric in the long term. So far, biocides (mainly algicides and fungicides, but also herbicides) have been used to prevent algae and fungal growth in the facade area. However, since biocides also have a certain toxic effect on humans and other organisms, the equipping of facades with biocides should be reduced or, if possible, prevented.

Within the scope of this project, innovative, spectral-selective colours with an adjustable colour impression in the visible and a low emissivity in the infrared (low-e colours) will be developed. These reduce the heat radiation of the building to the surrounding environment and thus reduce the condensation water loss and thus the algae formation and greening.

In order to achieve the desired properties of a low-e surface, the paints are supplemented with customized, IR-active metal pigments in addition to colour pigments. Within the scope of the project, basic physical models for the description of the scattering and absorption behaviour of particles and layer systems will be further developed. The macroscopic quantities emissivity and reflectance are correlated with the microscopic quantities absorption and scattering coefficient by means of the radiation transport equation. In addition, absorption and scattering coefficients can be calculated from the refractive indices and particle sizes used using scattering theoretical approaches.

BMBF-Project: FKZ 03X0071A


Dr. Jochen Manara
+49 931 70564-346

Dipl. -Ing. MariaClara Arduini
+49 931 70564-317

Highly thermally insulating polymer foam

Polymer foam

Development of an innovative, highly thermally insulating polyfoam to increase energy efficiency in buildings.

The total thermal conductivity of an insulating material depends mainly on the solid-state thermal conductivity, the radiant thermal conductivity and the gas thermal conductivity of the gases contained in it. Coupling effects between these heat transfer mechanisms and convection can usually be neglected in foams (Fig.).

One way of reducing the thermal conductivity is to reduce the gas heat conduction. The thermal conductivity of the contained gases depends on the properties of the gases and their composition as well as the cell sizes in the foam. In most cases, the foams only contain air. For foams that are foamed with blowing agents, the composition of the gas phase changes over time due to the inflow of air or the outflow or condensation of the blowing agent. Therefore, in this project, foams without heavy gas filling are primarily considered.

A reduction of the gas conductivity can be achieved by increasing the average free length of path of the gas molecules by evacuating the insulating material. On the other hand, the gas conductivity can be reduced by reducing the size of the cells. The decisive factor is the quotient of the average free length of path of the gas molecules and the cell sizes in the foam. This quotient is increased in the two cases mentioned above, which leads to the described reduction of the gas conductivity (Knudsen effect).

A reduction of the cell sizes in the foam influences not only the gas thermal conductivity but also the other heat transport mechanisms (solid state and radiant heat conduction). Therefore, within the scope of the project, modelling and simulations are carried out in order to describe in detail the fundamental physical relationships between the morphology of the foam and the heat transfer mechanisms and to optimize the foam accordingly.

EU-Project: 260123


Dr. Jochen Manara
+49 931 70564-346

Dipl. -Ing. MariaClara Arduini
+49 931 70564-317

Aerogel-based super insulation for buildings

Nanaomaterials, aerogel, Aerocoins

ZAE Bayern was a research partner in the EU project AEROCOINs. The consortium of the project, which is funded under the EU's 7th Framework Programme, set the goal of developing an economical insulating material for applications in the building sector whose thermal conductivity factor 3 is better than that of conventional EPS foams.

AEROCOINs stands for AEROgel-based composite/hybrid nanomaterials for Cost-effective building super-INSulation systems. The title already refers to the project's strategy of developing sol-gel-based porous materials that meet the requirements in the building sector in terms of price, handling, durability and fire protection while providing thermal conductivity of less than 12 mW/ (m K) at the same time. It is essential that the sol-gel components are part of composite or hydride materials. The aim is to integrate additional functionalities and overcome the two main obstacles that have so far prevented the widespread use of silica aerogel based superinsulation components in buildings, namely costs and poor mechanical properties.

The consortium pursued different synthesis approaches in parallel. The task of ZAE Bayern was a reliable, fast thermal evaluation of the first laboratory samples. The separation of the different contributions to heat transfer also played an important role in this process, since it was possible to provide important feedback for the synthesis in order to drive forward the material development with its large parameter field in a targeted manner. In the later course of the project, ZAE Bayern also evaluated larger components with regard to their thermal performance.

The project was launched in mid-2011 and the consortium had defined three sub-goals for a period of four years:

  • Development of a super-insulating silica aerogel composite /hybrid material
  • Design and development of a heat-insulating facade element construction
  • Validation of the energy efficiency of the facade insulation component and its integration into buildings

In addition to ZAE Bayern, the research partners involved were Tecnalia (Spain), Armines (France), EMPA (Switzerland), Technical University of Lodz (Poland) and VTT (Finland). The work will be accompanied and actively supported by the industrial partners PACS (France), Separex (France) and Acciona (Spain), and at the end of the project, they will be implemented in demo objects together with the research partners.

for further information please click here:

funding reference: EU-260141


Dr. Gudrun Reichenauer
+49 931 70564-328

ZAE Bayern

We work at the interface between knowledge-based basic research and applied industrial research. Under the motto "Excellent Energy Research - Excellent Implementation", we realize complete innovation packages that build on synergies between generation, storage and efficiency measures.