Material sciences

  • Fire and Flame for New Surfaces

    A flame treatment facility in operation. esse CI

    The printing, coating and bonding of plastics requires the surface to be pre-treated. Flame treatment is one way to achieve this so-called activation. It is currently being used in many industrial sectors and has considerable potential for development. The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam and the Italian company esse CI are uniting their expertise in surface chemistry and machine engineering in order to clearly expand the opportunities provided by flame treatment and to extend the range of surface properties. Interested companies can take part in the development of this technology and help advance its industrialization.

  • Fireproofing Made of recycled paper

    A blow-in insulation becomes solid. Empa

    Scientists at Empa teamed up with isofloc AG to develop an insulating material made of recycled paper. It is ideal for prefabricated wooden elements and even multistory timber houses, and protects the construction against fire. What's more: The additive it contains is harmless to humans, animals and the environment. Franziska Grüneberger looks contented; clutching a nondescript cube made of grey flakes in her hand the researcher in the laborato-ry for applied wood materials has achieved her goal: Very little chemistry went into the cube, but no shortage of technical expertise. The tiny object is “living” proof that giant mountains of waste paper can be transformed into a valuable, fireproof insulating material – a big step to save fossil fuels. Not that anyone could tell just by looking at it.

  • First Diode for Magnetic Fields

    When the left coil is energized, the magnetic field reaches the right coil (top). When the right coil is energized, the magnetic field does not reach the left one (bottom). Luis Veloso

    Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications. Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the core of any electronic component, being one of the most essential building blocks.

  • First Random Laser Made of Paper-Based Ceramics

    The team used conventional laboratory filter paper as a structural template due to its long fibers and the stable structure. Photo: Institute for Complex Systems /Rome

    Working with physicists from the University of Rome, a team led by Professor Cordt Zollfrank from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) built the first controllable random laser based on cellulose paper in Straubing. The team thereby showed how naturally occurring structures can be adapted for technical applications. Hence, materials no longer need to be artificially outfitted with disordered structures, utilizing naturally occurring ones instead.

  • First Single-photon Source that Works with Atomic Gases at Room Temperature

    Rubidium atoms are excited to their Rydberg states in a glass cell at room temperature. The volume between the glass plates is so thin that colored interference rings are visible to the naked eye. Universität Stuttgart/Max Kovalenko

    Researchers of the Center for Integrated Quantum Science and Technology IQST at the 5th Institute of Physics at the University of Stuttgart (Head: Prof. Tilman Pfau) have developed a novel, promising variant of a light source for the smallest possible energy packages - a so-called single-photon source. Their work has been published in the latest issue of the journal Science.*

  • Flexible OLEDs glowing from first European open access pilot line

    Flexible OLED on plastic web. Fraunhofer FEP

    Fraunhofer FEP has extensive and long lasting expertise and know-how in operation of its R&D lines for manufacturing of OLED lighting devices. As one of the core team partners within the European pilot line project PI-SCALE Fraunhofer FEP presents first demonstrators of flexible OLED out from this project. The demonstrators represent results from first pilot line production within the PI-SCALE project at the IDW 23rd International Display Workshops in Fukuoka, Japan, from December 7 – 9, 2016 on 4th floor, booth no. 13.

  • Flexible Organic Electronics for Wearables

    Bracelet with flexible OLED © LYTEUS

    Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, presents first wearable OLED bracelet at Wearable Europe 2018, from April 11th to 12th in Berlin, Germany at booth no. P12 together with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Holst Centre from Netherlands.

  • FlexPLAS®Release Film – Release Agent Free Manufacture of FRP Components in Complex Hot Press Molds

    Removal of FlexPLAS® release film from a contaminant-free CFRP component after curing in the hot press. © Fraunhofer IFAM

    At the JEC 2018 fair in Paris (6-8 March) the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM will present for the first time the use of flexible FlexPLAS® release film in complex hot press molds. You are invited to visit us on the communal stand of CFK Valley in Hall 5 A, Stand E 58. The plasma-coated FlexPLAS® release film developed by Fraunhofer IFAM (Bremen and Stade) has already been successfully used for a number of years for the manufacture of contaminant-free fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) components.

  • Foldable Like an Accordion: International Research Team Bends Individual Nanostructures

    Materials scientists Yogendra Kumar Mishra and doctoral researcher Daria Smazna. Photo/credit: Siekmann/CAU

    Since a research group at Kiel University (CAU) and the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) in Hamburg-Harburg has developed aerographite – one of the most light weight materials in the world – in the year 2012 -, they have continued researching about it. Its complex tetrapodal architecture gives the carbon-based 3D material very unique properties, such as extremely high elasticity and electrical conductivity. Now, for the first time, as part of an international research team, materials scientists from the CAU were able to fold the individual hollow tetrapods, each measuring only a few micrometers in size.

  • FOSA LabX 330 Glass – Coating Flexible Glass in a Roll-to-Roll Process

    VON ARDENNE FOSA LabX 330 Glass - coating system for flexible glass. © VON ARDENNE Corporate Archive

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP and VON ARDENNE will intensify their cooperation in the field of the coating of flexible glass. Due to its properties, this new material is ideally suited as a substrate for various applications in flexible electronics. Since October 2016, the two partners have been operating the roll-to-roll coating system FOSA LabX 330 Glass together. This new, innovative machine was especially developed for processing flexible glass by the equipment manufacturer VON ARDENNE, which is based in Dresden, Germany. It is the first of its kind worldwide.

  • Fraunhofer IMWS Tests Environmentally Friendly Microplastic Alternatives in Cosmetic Products

    Photographic images of tooth enamel samples in their initial state, after discoloration and after cleaning. The samples were cleaned with a toothpaste containing cellulose. Fraunhofer IMWS

    Microplastics are still used in personal care products, although the environmental impact is well known. Tiny plastic particles from peelings and other skincare products enter the sea and ultimately our food chain via waste-water systems. In a research project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS and its partners have tested materials that can replace microplastics in cosmetic products and are biodegradable.

  • Fraunhofer Institutes develop non-destructive quality test for hybrid cast components

    Aluminum FRP joint produced by low-pressure die casting. (c) Fraunhofer IFAM

    Lightweight design is increasingly applying trend-setting hybrid structures made of fiber composite materials and lightweight metal alloys, combining the advantages of both types of materials in hybrid construction techniques. In the current state of the art, the joints are bonded or riveted. In recent years at Fraunhofer IFAM, a new type of joining technology has been developed for various types of hybrid joints in high pressure die casting. In comparison with conventional joining techniques, the cast parts have advantages in package size, lower weight, and galvanic isolation.

  • Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

    New materials enable high speed frequencies: Fraunhofer ISE develops resonant DC/DC converters with 2.5 MHz as demonstrator for aeronautical applications. ©Fraunhofer ISE

    The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

  • Fraunhofer IWS Dresden collaborates with a strong research partner in Singapore

    Laser wire build-up of an expansion nozzle. Photo: Fraunhofer IWS Dresden

    The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) have signed a memorandum of understanding for international collaboration in the fields of laser-based additive manufacturing and diamond-like hard coating technology.

    SIMTech is a research institute under Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). The collaboration between Fraunhofer IWS and SIMTech started last year following Prof. Christoph Leyens, director and business unit manager Additive Manufacturing of the Fraunhofer IWS in Dresden, visit to SIMTech under its fellowship scheme. “With the signing of this memorandum of understanding, our collaboration will reach the next level of intensity” says Prof. Leyens, “For us, the collaboration with a world-leading institute in Singapore opens up new horizons in the important fields of additive manufacturing and coatings technology, both from a scientific and an application-oriented perspective.”

  • Fraunhofer Researchers Develop High-Pressure Sensors for Extreme Temperature

    High temperature sensor for extrusion systems: SOI chips (left) and casing (right). Fraunhofer IZM

    Many industrial processes depend on exact pressure gauges. The SOI high-pressure sensors (silicon-on-insulator) developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM makes this exact monitoring possible for processes operating at temperatures of up to 400° centigrade. The sensor promise an exceptionally long life as well as precision and efficiency. To keep up with technological requirements, future iterations of the sensors will be designed to withstand temperatures above 600° centigrade.

  • From the Lab on to the Ship: Environmentally-Friendly Removal of Biofouling

    Barnacles and muscles stuck to the ship’s hull can be brushed off easily from the new coating. The paintwork is not damaged. Photo/credit: Dr Martina Baum

    It is one of the shipping industry’s major problems: marine organisms like barnacles, algae or muscles quickly cover the hulls of ships and damage their paintwork. The so-called “biofouling” increases the ship’s weight and its flow resistance, causing greater fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Those protective paints that are used around the world contain and release pollutants. A research team at Kiel University and the Phi-Stone AG, one of its spin-offs located in Kiel, have closely cooperated to develop an environmentally-friendly coating. This coating makes it harder for marine organisms to grow on the hulls and makes cleaning the ships easier.

  • Functional films and efficient coating processes

    Optical system for inline monitoring of the film thickness and degree of crosslinking  of organic coatings © Photo Fraunhofer IVV

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP and the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB will present new developments in films and the efficient control of coating processes at the upcoming International Converting Exhibition Europe ICE being held in Munich from 21 - 23 March 2017. Under the motto "Functional films – efficient coating processes", emphasis will be put on new film functionalities and accelerated test methods (Hall A5, Stand 1031).

  • Funding of Collaborative Research Center developing nanomaterials for cancer immunotherapy extended

    CRC 1066 logo. © CRC 1066

    Focus on the development of drug carriers from polymer chemicals for use in biological systems.

    The German Research Foundation (DFG) has agreed to fund the Mainz-based Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1066 "Nanodimensional Polymer Therapeutics for Tumor Therapy" involved in the development of nanomaterials for cancer immunotherapy for another four years to the end of June 2021. This extension confirms Mainz as a major research hub in this field that requires input from both chemistry and biomedicine alike. Contributing to CRC 1066 are the Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics institutes at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) together with the Mainz University Medical Center and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz. The German Research Foundation will provide nearly EUR 13 million in financing over the next four years.

  • Further Improvement of Qubit Lifetime for Quantum Computers

    Illustration of the filtering of unwanted quasiparticles (red spheres) from a stream of superconducting electron pairs (blue spheres) using a microwave-driven pump. Philip Krantz, Krantz NanoArt

    New Technique Removes Quasiparticles from Superconducting Quantum Circuits - An international team of scientists has succeeded in making further improvements to the lifetime of superconducting quantum circuits. An important prerequisite for the realization of high-performance quantum computers is that the stored data should remain intact for as long as possible. The researchers, including Jülich physicist Dr. Gianluigi Catelani, have developed and tested a technique that removes unpaired electrons from the circuits. These are known to shorten the qubit lifetime (to be published online by the journal Science today.

  • Gelatine instead of forearm

    The EMPA skin model: gelatine on a cotton substrate. EMPA

    The characteristics of human skin are heavily dependent on the hydration of the tissue - in simple terms, the water content. This also changes its interaction with textiles. Up to now, it has only been possible to determine the interaction between human skin and textiles by means of clinical trials on human subjects. Now, EMPA researchers have developed an artificial gelatine-based skin model that simulates human skin almost perfectly. The moisture content of the human skin influences its characteristics. The addition of moisture softens the skin and changes its appearance. This can be seen in DIY work for example: a thin film of perspiration helps to provide better grip when using a hammer or screwdriver; however, excessive perspiration can make the tools slip.