When the wing of an aircraft "feels" a threatening load or metal foams become as lightweight and solid as our bones, you know materials scientists had their fingers in the pie. They search for perfect models in nature in order to give materials new capabilities. With the help of microscopy and tomography they constantly develop more precise analysis methods to look deep inside materials.
The Atom Probe Tomography makes it possible to look into the very heart of materials and determine the spatial positioning of atoms.
They can thus better understand their structure in order to develop customised materials for the industrial, medical and energy sectors. Scientists will discuss the latest trends from September 8 to 13 at the largest European conference on materials research in Seville. Professor Frank Mücklich of Saarland University is the scientific director of the conference.
About 70 per cent of all German exports in the global market rely solely on the use of innovative materials. This is what a study by the German Academy of Science and Engineering has shown. "Materials research is of enormous importance for European competitiveness", says Frank Mücklich, Functional Materials Professor at Saarland University. He is this year’s scientific director for Europe’s largest conference on materials research, Euromat, taking place in Seville. Some 2500 scientists from all over Europe, USA, Asia, Latin America and Australia will be showcasing their latest research.
Materials research today covers a wide range of applications. The automotive industry, for example, requires strong yet light materials for car bodies and engines. They are also interested in new materials for sensors and controllers, especially for high-end automobiles. "Electromobility, however, requires materials that can store energy or ensure a stable power distribution with minimum losses. Medical technology in turn needs tiny sensors that can supply their own electricity, for example, through small temperature differences", explains Mücklich.
The Saarbrücken professor identifies several trends that scientists all over Europe are involved in. "Until very recently, materials were increasingly complex and made of a combination of many raw materials. Yet these are becoming more and more scarce, some very expensive, so we now focus on solutions that can be implemented with few materials. These can exhibit very different properties thanks to tailored microstructures. One example is carbon-based materials such as nanotubes, which are extremely strong from a mechanical point of view, but also offer a high electrical conductivity", explains Frank Mücklich. Many material researchers also turn to models from nature that over the course of evolution have developed effective systems, often with very few chemical elements.
The scientist sees another trend in the development of intelligent autonomous systems which supply themselves with energy. Such systems, for example, can "feel" supported loads and send correction signals to the system. They are used in so-called "domotics" for home energy management and monitoring. Materials research has received a big boost in recent years primarily due to new analytical methods. "We can now accurately analyse all materials not only chemically, but also illustrate the lattice structure of the crystals and show which atoms are present at which point in the material. These nanostructures can be simulated and modelled in 2D and 3D", explains Professor Mücklich. These findings allow for a first-ever complete understanding of existing materials. This helps to improve conventional materials and to develop new ones, where properties can be combined that were previously incompatible.
Materials Science and Engineering at the Saarland University campus with its about 300 scientists is one of five nationwide leading locations in this area. The current 13 professorships at the University are closely linked with the researchers at the Leibniz Institute for New Materials and the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing. Several Saarbrücken scientists will present their latest research findings in early September at the biggest European materials research meeting, in Seville.Questions go to:
Melting solid below the freezing point
23.01.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science
An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk
20.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering