Our Institute is engaged in research and teaching in the fields of synthesis, characterization and application of organic and inorganic materials. The Institute aims to use modern spectroscopic tools and synthesis methods to advance both pure and application-oriented materials research and energy science. Research refers to the design and understanding of materials, such as inorganic materials and polymers, for a sustainable society. The ICTM is subdivided into two research areas: solid-state physical chemistry (A) and polymer chemistry (B). In area A emphasis is put on energy materials and (solid-state) physical chemistry with respect to the various reactions, kinetic phenomena and dynamic processes in electrochemical devices. Workgroups focus on the characterization and development of new materials for modern energy storage systems. In particular, spectroscopic techniques are used to shed light on micro- as well as macroscopic transport processes in crystalline as well as amorphous solids. In particular, short- as well as long-range ion dynamics in crystalline and amorphous solids are studied by solid state NMR and conductivity spectroscopy. The field of materials chemistry also covers (nanostructured) ceramic materials with special electric, magnetic and optical properties; the research area of electrochemistry puts emphasis on primary and secondary cells (Li-, Na-, Mg-, F-batteries, metal-air systems), and on electrochemical deposition, surface and interface chemistry.
Macromolecular chemistry (area B) focuses on polymerization techniques such as initiator research, olefin metathesis and related reactions; a prominent research area deals with porous materials. Research is also devoted to the synthesis of functional polymers via ring opening metathesis polymerisation (ROMP) and new absorber materials for solar cells with special emphasis on inorganic-organic hybrid solar cells, kesterite and perowskite cells. Methods extensively used at the ICTM comprise thermal analysis of organic and inorganic materials, impedance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, scanning probe microscopy and NMR as well as preliminary processing and testing methods relevant for industrial application.
The orientation of ICTM towards applied research has been recognized by the establishment several Christian-Doppler-Laboratories. Currently, at ICTM one CD-lab is running (Christian Doppler Laboratory for Organocatalysis in Polymerization); the Institute also hosts an ERC starting grant research group. The Institute participates in the Polymer Competence Center Leoben (PCCL). Numerous research projects - reflecting its broad expertise - are carried out in cooperation with national and international partners like the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), the DFG, and the EU.