Humboldt Research Award goes to Dr. Dominique Chatain

November 13, 2020

The Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung welcomes the French material expert as new team member

Dr. Dominique Chatain received the Humboldt Research Award for her outstanding scientific contributions and will join the MPIE in summer 2021.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awarded Dr. Dominique Chatain, material scientist at the CINAM – Centre Interdisciplinaire de Nanoscience de Marseille (France) with the Humboldt Research Award in recognition of her outstanding academic record. The award is endowed with 60,000 euros and allows to select any research institution in Germany as a host for a research stay of up to one year. Dr. Chatain chose the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Düsseldorf, which will welcome her in summer 2021.

300 nm thick copper film (orange) partly dewetted from sapphire (black) after 6 h of annealing at 980°C (optical microscope; the middle right-hexagonal hole is 20 microns wide).

“I feel really honoured receiving this prestigious award and I am happy to deepen my collaboration with Gerhard and Christina.”, explains Dominique Chatain, who will mainly work with Prof. Christina Scheu, head of the independent Max Planck research group “Nanoanalytics and Interfaces” and Prof. Gerhard Dehm, director of the department “Structure and Nano-/Micromechanics of Materials” at the MPIE. The French material scientist is an expert in the field of thermodynamics of surfaces and interfaces. Her research is applicable on thin film systems, ceramics, and functional material systems in the field of energy harvesting, where thermodynamic concepts are a prerequisite to ensure a reliable and durable service. “We are very happy and proud that Dominique will continue her groundbreaking research here at the MPIE.”, states Dehm, “Together, we plan to investigate the structure and chemistry of grain boundaries and their impact on materials’ properties.” “Merging Dominique’s expertise on thermodynamics and our experimental expertise on advanced and analytical transmission electron microscopy will enhance our understanding of the mobility of grain boundaries in multicomponent alloys.”, explains Scheu. She and Chatain share an interest in energy materials like thermoelectrics and fuel cells that are relevant for green energy production and will strengthen their collaboration in this field.

The Humboldt Research Prize is awarded annually to outstanding international scientists. It serves as an honour for both the awardee and the selected host institution, as the awardees choose their preferred research institutions for their stay.

Author: Yasmin Ahmed Salem

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