Deutsche Version  ACT
Overarching Themes
Crystal physics 2.5.2016

Professor Dirk C. Meyer and Dr. Tilmann Leisegang can be seen here electronically characterising an oxide crystal.
© Detlev Müller/ TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Future concepts for electrochemical energy storage

The project CryPhysConcept aims to the development of future concepts for electrochemical energy storage and its implementation and introduction to the market. The main efforts of the joint project are employing modern methods of crystallography, crystal chemistry and methods for crystal structure and physical properties prediction, and the preparation and analysis.

Project status Project completed
Type Of storage Sensible heat storage, Latent heat storage, Adsorption/Absorption, Reversible chemical reactions
Research objective storage material, storage construction, Components for charching and discharching, auxiliary equipment are the subjects of current research; Establishing an evaluation algorithm for materials in the field of electrochemical energy storage, taking into account the availability of resources, environmental sustainability and recycling. New materials for intercalation and ionic conduction using crystallographic methods and for multivalent ions. In situ / in operandi studies
Project duration October 2012 until April 2016

The overall goal is, to improve the basic understandings for thermal, electrical and matter storage of energy. Electrochemical energy storage, in addition to their importance for electric mobility, in particular for the development of decentralized stationary applications related to renewable power generation is essential. This relates not only of ensuring network stability, especially the expansion of regional autarcic energy supply.

  • The measurement devices determine the crystal-physical coupling constants of condensed matter. © Sven Jachalke
  • Diffractometer for making structural investigations using x-ray radiation. This makes it possible to characterise the crystalline structure of matter and the atomic arrangement. Important electronic properties are determined at this scale. © Sven Jachalke
  • Laboratory prototype for converting thermal energy into light © Sven Jachalke
  • Laboratory prototype for converting thermal energy into high quality electrical energy by means of crystal-physical coupling phenomena using oxide crystals. © Sven Jachalke
  • Professor Dirk C. Meyer and Dr. Tilmann Leisegang can be seen here electronically characterising an oxide crystal. © Detlev Müller/ TU Bergakademie Freiberg
  • X-ray spectroscopic measurement curve for gaining information on the crystal structure: The measurement curve shows a silicide crystal with a particular structural disorder. © Tilmann Leisegang
  • The illustration shows the location of electrons in a silicide crystal at room temperature. Depicted is a cross-section through the elementary cell (black square), which was reconstructed from x-ray diffraction data. The contour lines correspond to lines with a constant electron density and follow a logarithmic scaling. Highlighted in colour are the maxima of the electron density (red), which indicate the position of the atoms in the crystal. © Tilmann Leisegang/ TU Bergakademie Freiberg
  • In-situ measurement chamber for the temperature-dependent measurement of electronic parameters and the crystal structure, including under the influence of external fields. The open chamber can be seen in which a heating element, a thin-film sample and various sensors are arranged. © Sven Jachalke
  • Characterisation of a sample series (components of a Na-S cell) in the analysis chamber of an x-ray fluorescence spectrometer in order to determine the chemical composition. © Sven Jachalke
  • Control lamp for an x-ray diffractometer for characterising the structure of thin structures. © Sven Jachalke

The project is divided into three project phases.

  1. Start-up phase (6 month): Evaluation and discussion of possible innovative concepts in internal workshops and development of concepts/ideas as well as conversion into patents and concrete project modules.
  2. Basic phase (12 month): Elaboration of the scientific basis of the defined project modules. At the end of this phase the promising concepts are evaluated and concrete designs of proof-of-concept models are fixed and scientific priorities are formulated.
  3. Transfer phase (18 month): Technology development to proof-of-concept models. Initiation of R&D projects with industry and research partners.

Research focus

In addition to contributions to the further development of established technologies, the project aims at the provision of models that are likely to represent completely new systems. Regarding the performance parameters and the required load management these systems should be ideally adapted to autarchic energy supply in the context of renewable energy sources, taking into account strategic resource, environmental and cost issues.

For this purpose modern methods of crystallography, crystal chemistry as well as crystal structure and physical properties prediction are used. The class of oxide crystals is in the focus of the project because they have a wide range of coupled (energy conversion) phenomena, which have been found mainly used in electronic components. In the field of metastable states and thermodynamic phase transitions of crystalline materials their exist not yet elevated potentials for stationary energy storage.

Extremely interesting fabrics with even unimagined potentials are also provided by bio-minerals. These natural composites are important substances existing in nature and are well adapted to processes that are electrochemically equivalent. As part of the project, these materials and biomimetic principles for novel electrochemical storage concepts are investigated.


As part of CryPhysConcept it is focused on new concepts of electrochemical storage cells by application of crystallographic and crystal physics methods and concepts. Even the inclusion of exothermic chemical reactions occurring in the load case has enormous potential for increasing the efficiency of energy storage concepts and the material design and layout of the functional elements, respectively. From materials and biomimetic principles of nature promising phenomena for new electrochemical storage concepts can taken into account.

Corresponding stationary energy storage concepts and in particular materials, has not yet been raised to the scale of industrial applications. For this purpose, a consideration of the entire innovation chain, starting from basic research through applied research to industrial technology transfer is needed. These demands can be covered by the TU Bergakademie Freiberg as the national university of ressources, which focuses at the same time on the development of new materials and technologies for a sustainable economy.


  • Screening, evaluation and systematization: Objective: Request, ideas and concept catalog for new stationary electrochemical energy storage.
  • Modeling, simulation and prediction. Objective: materials and material concepts, verification of new material properties and material concepts.
  • Synthesis, characterization and modification. Objective: Physical/ chemical material synthesis, material modification and scaling.
  • Proof-of-concept models. Objective: Reprsentation of new concepts for electrochemical energy storage.
  • The partner Kurt Schwabe Institute for Measuring and Sensor Technology e. V. Meinberg provide his expertise in the field of solid state chemistry and synthesis of solid electrolytes.
  • The core competence of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology (IWS) is the modeling, development, manufacture and testing of coating solutions. Additionally, the IWS has particular expertise in the processing of materials (removal and cutting, joining, edge film technology, and thermal coating, chemical surface and reaction technology), particularly in the area of energy storage technologies.
  • The Fraunhofer Technology Center for Semiconductor Materials Freiberg (THM) conducts research and development in the field of production of crystalline materials for photovoltaics, energy, microelectronics and power electronics. The THM is operated as a joint facility of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB in Erlangen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg.


[Translate to English:] Meyer, D. C.; Leisegang, T. (Hrsg.): Review on electrochemical storage materials and technology. 1st International Freiberg Conference on Electrochemical Storage Materials, 3rd - 4th June 2013 in Freiberg, Germany. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1597. Melville, N.Y. : American Institute of Physics, 2014
DOI: 10.1063/v1597.frontmatter

Hanzig, J.; Zschornak, M.; Nentwich, M. (u.a): Strontium titanate: An all-in-one rechargeable energy storage material. In: Journal of Power Sources. Vol. 267 (2014)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2014.05.095

Supported by: The Federal Government on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag


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Research funding

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