Welcome to our group NanoGeoscience

AG Prof. Dr. Frank E.Brenker

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AG Brenker

AG Brenker

NanoScience in Geoscience

The main objective of the NanoGeoscience working group is to draw conclusions about geological, mineralogical, crystallographical and geochemical processes based on the analysis of structural defects in crystals and the chemical variability in the sub-micrometer range. This includes the decoding and reconstruction of the thermo-mechanical developmental history of crystals in terrestrial and extraterrestrial materials as well as the investigation of process steps within material science.

The methodical focus is on analytical (ATEM) and high-resolution (HRTEM) transmission electron microscopy and combined confocal micro-X-ray fluorescence and micro-X-ray diffraction by means of synchrotron radiation (currently at the ESRF (Grenoble) and DESY (Hamburg)). A combination with further micro- and nanoanalytical tools (EBSD, micro-Raman spectroscopy, microprobe, NanoSIMS etc.) has proven to be particularly successful and is carried out with different cooperation partners.

Analytical transmission electron microscopy provides a direct view of current processes or those that have already taken place. Thus, reaction, transformation, deformation or crystallization mechanisms can be directly observed or reconstructed.

The use of X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence techniques using synchrotron radiation provides the ideal link to standard microanalytical techniques and light microscopy. Numerous synchrotron sources are now anxious to achieve the leap to a point resolution of only a few nanometers. In routine operation, beam diameters far below one micrometer can already be achieved. In the future, this will make the combination of transmission electron microscopy and analytical methods on particle accelerators an even more effective tool.

With the application of these analytic techniques, we work on a number of different projects. Common to all projects is the relationship between the analysis of crystal defects and the process quantification.

Research Projects

Recent research projects

The members of the group have recently been working on the following topics:

Formation of the Solar System

Life on Planet Mars

Asteroidal Processes - example: asteroid Vesta (HED Meteorites)

Deep Earth Mantle Chemistry - Research on inclusions within deep and ultradeep diamonds

EXCISS - A student experiment on the ISS to form chondrules

Team Members

Members of the NanoGeoscience group

Head of the group
Prof. Dr. Frank E. Brenker

Research Associates
Dr. Beverley Tkalcec

PhD Students
Tamara Koch
Philomena-Theresa Genzel
Oliver Christ (together with University of Padua - Prof. Nestola)

Bachelor & Master Students
Viktoria Hoffmann
Richard Mutius
Miles Lindner

Dr. Sylvia Schmitz
Dr. Jennifer Rudloff
Dr. Aleksandra Stojic (Universität Münster)
Dr. Christian Vollmer (Universität Münster)

Dipl. Thomas Bretfeld (Bosch)
MSc. Melanie Schmitt (Naturkundemuseum Stockholm)
MSc. Miro Lander (TU Darmstadt)
MSc. Susanne Rempt

The Press

Press and public relations

Here you can find some current press releases of the AG NanoGeoscience (External Links):

20.01.2019 Das Universum kommt per Post (Podcast auf hr info, 24 Minuten)

09.01.2019 Researching the origins of the planets - Dassault Systèmes (youtube Video)

16.11.2017 We'd need the ISS for that... - Miles Lindner beim TEDx RheinMain(youtube Video)

26.09.2017 1730live Sat1 Studenten aus Frankfurt schicken Experiment zur ISS (Video Sat1)

24.05.2017 RTL Hessen berichtet über studentisches ISS-Experiment (Video RTL Hessen)

27.09.2017 Hessen schafft Wissen Einmal Weltall und zurück

07.09.2017 Frankfurter Neue Presse Wie das Urmaterial der Planeten entstanden ist

08.08.2017 FAZ Blitzeinsatz auf der ISS

31.05.2017 MainRiedberg Stadtteil magazin Studentisches Experiment demnächst auf der ISS?

30.05.2017 Frankfurter Rundschau Vom Riedberg ins Weltall

older articles:

2016 The Epoch Times A Vast Ocean Inside the Earth: The Deep Unknown

2014 The Guardian Rough diamond hints at vast quantities of water inside Earth

2013 LA Times Meteorite may offer clues on asteroid Vesta's inner life

2009 Frankfurter Rundschau Professor für Sternenstaub

2006 FAZ Kosmische Krümel unterm Mikroskop


List of our sponsors

We would like to thank all our private and public sponsors for their financial support. Without your support, our successful work would not be possible.

Dr. Rolf M. Schwiete Stiftung

Freunde und Förderer der Universität








Dr. Jehner - Humanistische Stiftung

Hassia (Klaus Hinkel)

How to find us

How to find us

How to reach the Geoscience building

Travel with public transpot to the Unicampus Riedberg:

From Frankfurt mainstation take any subway line S1-8  to „Hauptwache“. Change here for the underground line U8 (direction Riedberg) until stop „Uni Campus Riedberg“ or U3 (direction Oberursel) until stop „Niederursel“ (with 10 Minutes walk, or change here to U9 to Kalbach/Nieder-Eschbach).

From Westbahnof take Bus 73 until stop „Nordwestzentrum“, then underground line U9 (Richtung Nieder-Eschbach) bis Haltestelle „Uni Campus Riedberg“. Additionally there is a Bus 29 from "Nordwestzentrum" to „Uni Campus Riedberg, and Bus 251 to stop at „Geozentrum“ (directly infront of the building).

For further information go to