What happens when you etch nanoparticles? This process has now been recorded in real time and in situ by our collaborator Xingchen Ye using a small droplet sandwiched between two graphene sheets. Alberto Leonardi resolved details of the anisotropic kinetics of their gradual dissolution using molecular dynamics and lattice Monte Carlo simulations. Together, experiment and simulation help understanding the mechanism of etching at atomistic resolution, which is important to design more stable catalysts.

Schematic illustration of a graphene liquid cell encapsulating a solution of Pd@Au nanocubes and oxidative etchants. Carbon atoms of graphene sheets are enlarged for clarity purpose.

Read about this work here:

Lei Chen, Alberto Leonardi, Jun Chen, Muhan Cao, Na Li, Dong Su, Qiao Zhang, Michael Engel, Xingchen Ye
Imaging the Kinetics of Anisotropic Dissolution of Bimetallic Core-Shell Nanocubes using Graphene Liquid Cells
Nature Communications 11, 3041 (2020)

Greetings from this week’s group meeting!

The coronavirus stopped in-person teaching and work in the buildings of FAU but our research continues remotely. We work from home and partially from the lab at low occupancy. We write codes and papers, submit and analyze simulations. Meetings are conducted via Zoom.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) approved a new Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) ‘Design of Particulate Products’ to start in January 2020. The CRC will be coordinated by FAU and its researchers are set to receive around 11 million euros in funding for nanoparticle design.

The research team, including the Engel Lab, are planning a novel approach by developing models to design and optimise the nanoparticles before they are produced in the laboratory, a technique that has been made possible by close collaboration between mathematics and particle technology.

For more information, read the FAU Press Release and visit the Webpage of CRC 1411.

Logo of CRC 1411

The following Saturday,

Oct 19, 2019, 18h–1h, in the foyer of IZNF (Cauerstraße 3)

our lab will participate at Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften, an established form of public relations activity in Germany. We will present our work in form of interactive particle simulations, 3d visualizations, and a small hands-on experiment involving a laser interacting with a colloidal monolayer.

Kommen Sie uns besuchen!

EngelLab Group poster
EngelLab Group poster (in German).
A high-resolution version can be viewed by clicking on the image.

Some pictures from the 2019 group hike to several caves near Muggendorf in the Franconian Switzerland.

At the end of the Mehlbeerensteig.
Exploration of the Kammerfelsen
Dripstone in the Doktorshöhle.

Several members of the lab traveled to present and promote their newest research results at conferences throughout Germany:

The MSS Institute organized a trip to Fränkische Schweiz that consisted of a canoe/kayak ride down the river Wiesent from Wiesental and a short hike up the hill where we had a beautiful view and lunch under a big Tilia tree.

We all arrived back at the rental station without getting too (but still a little bit) wet.
View from Gasthaus zum Pfaffenstein in Moritz.