This project with the acronym GB-CORRELATE is supported by an Advanced Grant for Gerhard Dehm by the European Research Council (ERC) and started in August 2018. The project GB-CORRELATE targets on (i) predicting and resolving GB phase transitions, (ii) establishing guidelines for GB phase transitions and GB phase diagrams, (iii) correlating GB phase transitions with property changes, (iv) providing compositional-structural design criteria for GB engineering, (v) which will be tested by demonstrators with tailored GB strength and GB mobility. GB-CORRELATE focusses on Cu and Al alloys in form of thin films as this allows to implement a hierarchical strategy expanding from individual special GB to GB networks and a transfer of the GB concepts to thin film applications.
This projects aims to correlate the electrical properties of ceramic materials and defects within their microstructure. A novel approach will be developed to this purpose coupling together in-situ dielectric spectroscopy with in-situ micro- nano-mechanical testing enabling the formation of defect activated by plastic deformation. The correlation between defects and electrical properties will provide information about the local deformation phenomena, while enabling to predict failure of materials.
The structure of grain boundaries (GBs) is dependent on the crystallographic structure of the material, orientation of the neighbouring grains, composition of material and temperature. The abovementioned conditions set a specific structure of the GB which dictates several properties of the materials, e.g. mechanical behaviour and diffusion. Recently it has been reported of a phase transitions inside GBs opening the way to a new research field. This project aims to interconnect the electrical properties to the existing knowledge on GBs.
The mechanical properties of bulk CrFeCoNi compositionally complex alloys (CCA) or high entropy alloys (HEA) are widely studied in literature . Notably, these alloys show mechanical properties similar to the well studied quinary CrMnFeCoNi  . Nevertheless, little is known about the deformation mechanisms and the thermal behavior of these alloys in thin film form. The current project aims to investigate these properties within the framework of a joint DFG/ANR project involving the collaboration of Prof. Alfred Ludwig (Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany), Dr. Dominique Chatain (CINaM, Marseille, France) and Dr. Natalie Bozzolo (CEMEF, Sophia Antipolis, France).
In this project, we aim to synthetize novel ZrCu thin film metallic glasses (TFMGs) with controlled thickness, composition and morphology, while investigating the relationship with the main mechanical properties and focusing on the nanometer scale deformation mechanisms. Moreover, we aim to investigate the thermal stability and the evolution of the atomic order performing dedicate annealing treatments.