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Research Groups

The structure and behaviour of interfaces—such as grain boundaries, which are abundant in virtually all materials used in engineering applications—is of ever-increasing interest to those trying to understand and improve the properties of micro- and nanostructured materials. Computer simulations at an atomistic scale come in where experiments are necessarily limited: High spatial and temporal resolution, as well as the possibility to quickly produce clean model setups, allow us to understand the mechanisms of phase transitions and mechanical deformation at the scale where they occur. [more]
The key to establish a fundamental understanding of the links between synthesis, microstructure and properties is to characterize materials on all hierarchical levels of microstructure. Advanced Transmission Electron Microscopy offers versatile techniques enabling the analysis of atomic arrangements, microchemistry, defect structures, interfacial phenomena and precipitate structures. The development and application of advanced TEM techniques, including atomic resolution aberration-corrected imaging, analytical TEM and in-situ TEM are major areas of research. [more]
Hydrogen is ubiquitous in nature, mainly in molecular compounds. In its atomic form it represents a genuine possibility as an energy carrier for the transport and storage of renewable energy. [more]
Alloys based on intermetallic phases comprise a new class of materials entering into application, e.g. TiAl compressor blades in the new GENXTM jet engines. The basis for any new material development is a sound understanding of the stability of the constituting phases in dependence of composition, temperature and time, i.e. knowledge of the respective phase diagrams. [more]
Plasticity, fracture and fatigue are well known to determine the lifetime of technical components in daily-life applications (e.g. car engines, railroad wheels, jet-planes). A comprehensive understanding of life limiting mechanisms exists macroscopically. The ongoing trend for miniaturization of micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) and microelectronic components requires a proper knowledge of materials also at the micrometer length scale, which today is still lacking. [more]
Formerly Nanotribology group [more]
Novel high-performance nanostructured thin films with superior structural and functional properties are required for advanced applications such as micro-/nanoelectronics, energy production, sensors and wear protection. Especially, mutually excluding structural properties such as high strength and ductility need to be combined, but also resistance to harsh environments such as corrosive environment, wear, and high temperature must be improved. Key to control the properties is the film architecture and microstructure. In order to trigger microstructure induced material properties control of the micro-scale porosity, atomic composition, average grain size, phase distribution, and layer/film thickness must be optimized. [more]
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