The institute pursues a strong interdisciplinary approach by combining chemistry, physics, metallurgy and material sciences to develop new high-performance materials for use as high-tech structural and functional components.
The MPIE is structured into four departments:
Moreover the institute comprises
an independent Max Planck Research Group on Nanoanalytics and Interfaces,
an independent Max Planck Fellow Group on Self-Reporting Materials and
a Max Planck Research Group on High-Temperature Materials.
All organizational units complement each other in terms of methodology and research focus and cooperate with one another as well as with colleagues worldwide. The five main cross-disciplinary topics of mutual interest are the:
- Development of new structural materials
- Analysis of microstructure-related material properties
- Analysis and enhancement of the stability of surfaces and interfaces
- Development of scale-bridging simulation of materials
- Enhancement of energy materials
These central research areas are highly interdisciplinary and combine the experimental and theoretical expertise of the departments.
Besides the intra-departmental and external cooperation with other scientific organizations, the MPIE has well-established links with material and manufacturing companies mainly in the fields of structural and functional alloy design, advanced characterization methods in alloy development, surface functionalization, and computational materials science. These links are particularly valuable for the institute's development from a materials-oriented laboratory towards a system-driven institute that deals with complex materials in a holistic context including construction, production and the consideration of extreme environmental conditions. Current areas of growth with strong industrial relations are in the fields of hybrid- and electro-mobility, energy conversion and storage, renewable energy, health, hydrogen-based industries and computational materials science. More about the Structure of the MPIE