European Research Council supports project of Prof. Gerhard Dehm with 2.5 million euros
Grain boundaries separate the individual crystals composing a material and are omnipresent “defects” in most functional and structural materials. While they are known to strongly influence the electrical, magnetic, thermal or mechanical properties of materials, surprisingly little is known on grain boundary phases, their transitions and how they can be applied to advance materials’ design.
The European Research Council granted Prof. Gerhard Dehm with an Advanced Grant of 2.5 million euros for his project about grain boundary engineering
Nicolas Peter, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
This is in stark contrast to bulk and surfaces phases and their transitions - i.e. changes in the arrangements of atoms in the volume or at the surface of materials - where thermodynamic and atomistic concepts are well established since a long time.
This lack of a complete exploration of grain boundaries is due to their structural and chemical complexity, their defects and previously, insufficient characterization techniques. Prof. Gerhard Dehm, director at the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung (MPIE), is going to tackle these challenges.
He is now supported by an Advanced Grant of 2.5 million euros by the European Research Council (ERC) for his project on grain boundary phase transitions and their impact on properties, which will be key for grain boundary engineering.
The complexity of grain boundaries lies in their multidimensional space and defects. To overcome this complexity and establish phase diagrams for grain boundaries, Dehm and his team will focus on thin films of Cu and Al alloys. Thin films allow a hierarchical strategy analysing first bicrystalline, then oligocrystalline and finally polycrystalline thin films thus getting step by step into the multidimensional space of grain boundaries.
Thereby, the MPIE facilities provide advanced correlated atomic resolved spectroscopy and microscopy, and computational approaches to identify grain boundary phases and their relation to functional properties. Moreover, Dehm will use in situ micromechanical studies to interlink grain boundary phases and mechanical properties.
Grain growth experiments coupled with microscopy techniques such as electron backscatter diffraction and scanning electron microscopy will allow extracting changes in mobility of individual grain boundaries due to phase transitions in a high throughput approach. The project aims to predict and resolve grain boundary phase transitions, to establish guidelines for them, to correlate them with property changes and finally to provide design criteria for grain boundary engineering.
This could be particularly interesting for applications in the field of power electronic devices as employed for autonomous cars or energy applications. The usually used copper-based metallic contacts in power electronic devices could be made more robust and highly reliable by tuning the damage resistance of grain boundaries.
Dehm studied materials science in Erlangen (Germany) and did his doctorate 1995 at the Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung in Stuttgart (Germany). Before joining the Montanuniversität Leoben (Austria) as professor and head of the Department of Materials Physics and director of the Erich Schmid Institut für Materialwissenschaft of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in 2005, he continued his research as a group leader in Stuttgart and had a research stay at the Technion in Haifa (Israel). Dehm joined the MPIE in 2012 as executive and director of the department “Structure and Nano-/Micromechanics of Materials”.
The grants of the European Research Council are regarded as one of the most prestigious international research grants. 2167 proposals were submitted European wide in this application round whereby 269 scientists were successful. The ERC has given in total six advanced grants to scientists of the Max Planck Society.
Prof. Gerhard Dehm
Yasmin Ahmed Salem M.A. | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
Decoding cell communication
13.06.2019 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
ESJET printing technology for large area active devices awarded
11.04.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified
The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...
Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.
Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...
Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...
Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.
The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.
Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
17.06.2019 | Information Technology
17.06.2019 | Earth Sciences
17.06.2019 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation