Material sciences

  • Germanium outperforms silicon in energy efficient transistors with n- und p- conduction

    Energy-efficient germanium nanowire transistor. Transmission electron microscope image of cross section.  NaMLab gGmbH

    NaMLab and cfaed reached an important breakthrough in the development of energy-efficient electronic circuits using transistors based on germanium

    A team of scientists from the Nanoelectronic Materials Laboratory (NaMLab gGmbH) and the Cluster of Excellence Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden (cfaed) at the Dresden University of Technology have demonstrated the world-wide first transistor based on germanium that can be programmed between electron- (n) and hole- (p) conduction.

  • Goettingen Researchers Combine Light and X-ray Microscopy for Comprehensive Insights

    STED image (left) and x-ray imaging (right) of the same cardiac tissue cell from a rat. University of Goettingen

    Researchers at the University of Goettingen have used a novel microscopy method. In doing so they were able to show both the illuminated and the "dark side" of the cell. The results of the study were published in the journal Nature Communications. (pug) The team led by Prof. Dr. Tim Salditt and Prof. Dr. Sarah Köster from the Institute of X-Ray Physics "attached" small fluorescent markers to the molecules of interest, for example proteins or DNA. The controlled switching of the fluorescent dye in the so-called STED (Stimulated Emission Depletion) microscope then enables highest resolution down to a few billionth of a meter.

  • Good Vibrations Feel the Force

    Strong-field mid-infrared excitation allows to drive lattice vibrations of a crystal into the highly anharmonic regime which allows to reconstruct the interatomic potential. Joerg Harms, MPSD

    A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

  • Goodbye, Silicon? On the Way to New Electronic Materials with Metal-organic Networks

    A metal-organic framework could serve as a replacement for the semiconductor silicon in the future. © MPI-P

    Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

  • Graphene electrodes offer new functionalities in molecular electronic nanodevices

    Molecules covalently attached to graphene are ideal candidates for electronic devices.  © Alexander Rudnev, University of Bern

    An international team of researchers led by the University of Bern and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has revealed a new way to tune the functionality of next-generation molecular electronic devices using graphene. The results could be exploited to develop smaller, higher-performance devices for use in a range of applications including molecular sensing, flexible electronics, and energy conversion and storage, as well as robust measurement setups for resistance standards.

  • Graphene Enables Clock Rates in the Terahertz Range

    Graphene converts electronic signals with frequencies in the gigahertz range extremely efficiently into signals with several times higher frequency. Juniks/HZDR

    Graphene is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the future. In theory, it should allow clock rates up to a thousand times faster than today’s silicon-based electronics. Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), have now shown for the first time that graphene can actually convert electronic signals with frequencies in the gigahertz range – which correspond to today’s clock rates – extremely efficiently into signals with several times higher frequency. The researchers present their results in the scientific journal “Nature”.

  • Gum metals pave the way for new applications

    Scanning electron microscopy image showing the different phases in the peculiar gum-type titanium alloy.  Jian Zhang, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

    Max Planck scientists discover peculiarities in crystal structure of titanium alloy

    Metals which can be bent as gum pave the way for new industrial applications for example in the aerospace industry. These so-called gum metals exist but the mechanism behind this behaviour was still unsettled and thus difficult to be used for applications. Scientists from the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung (MPIE) in Düsseldorf have observed a new phase transformation in a titanium alloy that could further our understanding of exactly this behaviour whereby the term “phase” refers to the crystal structure in which the atoms are arranged.

  • Hannover Messe: Gecomer®-Technology shows its performance in endurance tests

    Experimental set-up for endurance tests of Gecomer® structures. Source: Ollmann

    Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM) have demonstrated the performance of their technology in endurance tests: Even after 500,000 testing cycles the dry adhesive structures work reliable. Thus, the next step towards industrial application is done.

    Components with highly sensitive surfaces are used in automotive, semiconductor, display and optical technologies. During production, these parts have to be handled repeatedly by pick-and-place processes. The proprietary Gecomer® principle reduces the risk of surface contamination with residues, and of mechanical damage due to gripping.

  • Hannover Messe: Improved Corrosion Protection with Flake-type Particles of Metal-phosphates

    Corrosion protection with flake-type metalphosphate particles. Source: Uwe Bellhäuser; free within this context

    Research scientists at INM developed a special type of flake-type-shaped metal-phosphate particles: They show improved passivation ability and improved diffusion barrier against corrosive substances. Besides zinc phosphate also newly developed manganese phosphate flakes are available.

  • Hannover Messe: Improved corrosion protection with flake-type zinc-phosphate particles

    Because of the disordered arrangement of the flakes, they can not run through the sandglass like spheric particles do. Source: Ollmann

    To prevent corrosive substances from penetrating into materials, a common method is to create an anti-corrosion coating by applying paint layers of zinc-phosphate particles. Now, research scientists at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials developed a special type of zinc-phosphate particles: They are flake-like in shape because they are ten times as long as they are thick. Large quantities of steel are used in architecture, bridge construction and ship-building. Structures of this type are intended to be long-lasting. Furthermore, even in the course of many years, they should not lose any of their qualities regarding strength and safety. For this reason, the steel plates and girders used must have extensive and durable protection against corrosion.

  • Hannover Messe: Inkjet process to print flexible touchscreens cost-efficiently

    Printed, flexible touchscreen. Source: INM

    INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials will be demonstrating flexible touch screens, which are produced by printing recently developed nanoparticle inks on thin plastic foils. These inks composed predominantly of transparent, conductive oxides (TCOs) are suitable for a one-step printing process. Flexible smart phones are desirable for a lot of users. Up to now the displays of the innumerable phones and pods are rigid and do not yield to the anatomical forms adopted by the people carrying them. By now it is no longer any secret that the big players in the industry are working on flexible displays. INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials shows, how they might become reality in the near future: At this year’s Hannover Messe, INM will be presenting suitable coatings for cost-efficient inkjet processes at the stand B46 in hall 2 from on 24 April to 28 April.

  • Hannover Messe: Low Haze Structures for Transparent Flexible Electrodes by Electrospinning Processes

    Electrospinning: thin fibers for flexible, transparent electrodes. Source: Use Bellhäuser

    Flexible, transparent, and conductive electrodes (FTCEs) are a key enabling technology for the new generation of flexible, printable and wearable electronics. The touchscreens and displays of the future will be curved and flexible and integrated into cars, phones, or medical technology. Tapping and wiping can only work on flexible devices, when flexible materials are used for touchscreens and electric circuits, but not brittle materials like indium tin oxide or silicon. For this purpose, INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials is working with the process of electrospinning, a technique that produces ultra-fine fibers that are up to 100 times thinner than a human hair.

  • Hannover Messe: New hybrid inks for printed, flexible electronics without sintering

    New type of hybrid inks  allow electronic circuits to be applied to paper directly from a pen. Source: INM

    Research scientists at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials have now developed a new type of hybrid inks which allows electronic circuits to be applied to paper directly from a pen, for example. Flexible circuits can be produced inexpensively on foil or paper using printing processes and permit futuristic designs with curved diodes or input elements. This requires printable electronic materials that retain a high level of conductivity during usage in spite of their curved surfaces. Research scientists at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials have now developed a new type of hybrid inks which allows electronic circuits to be applied to paper directly from a pen, for example. They are usable after drying without any further processing.

  • Hannover Messe: Silver circuits on foil allow curved touchscreens

    Photochemical Metallization allows conductor paths even on flexible foils as well as on stretchable silicone. Source: Gabi Klein, INM

    To allow typing and swiping even on curved smartphones, touchscreens and electric conductor paths have also to be curved. Therefore INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials has developed a technique, which allows such conductor paths even on flexible foils as well as on stretchable silicone. INM will be presenting the so called photochemical metallization on this year’s Hannover Messe at the Stand B46 in hall 2 from 24 April to 28 April.

    Mobile phones and smart phones still have not been adapted to the carrying habits of their users. That much is clear to anyone who has tried sitting down with a mobile phone in the back pocket: the displays of such devices are rigid and do not yield to the anatomical forms adopted by the people carrying them.

  • Hannover Messe: Successful Small-scale Production of New Hybrid Inks

    Flexible electronics with hybrid inks. Source: INM; free within this press release

    Research scientists at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials have developed a sinter-free conductive ink based on gold and silver nanoparticles coated with conductive polymers. INM’s hybrid inks enable inkjet printing of conductive structures without any thermal or UV treatments. The inks can be prepared in polar solvents such as water and alcohols, and many of their properties such as their density or viscosity can be customized. Testing samples will be available upon request.

  • Hannover Messe: Triple treatment for heat-exchangers

    New nano-coatings have an anti-adhesive, anti-corrosive and antimicrobial effect. Source: Ollmann

    INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials is introducing new nano-coatings that reduce the effort required for cleaning heat exchangers as well as their corrosion. In these new coatings, the research scientists combine antiadhesive, anticorrosive and, on demand, also antimicrobial properties.

    When processing milk and juice, the food industry is using heat exchangers in numerous steps throughout the process. To have no risk to the consumers, heat exchangers have to be free from microbes. Especially in the numerous grooves and recesses of the heat exchanger, persistent biofilms can remain stuck. As a result, heat exchangers must be cleaned at regular intervals using aggressive chemicals.

  • Harder 3D-printed tools – Researchers from Dresden Introduce new Process for Hardmetal Industry

    Hardmetal sample with complex geometry on FFF standard printer Hage3D 140 L, in which larger components can be perspectively printed as well. © Fraunhofer IKTS

    Extremely hard tools are required in forming technology, metal-cutting and process engineering. They are conventionally made by powder pressing. Although this achieves a high degree of hardness, it is often necessary to carry out a complex and therefore expensive post-processing. Additive manufacturing enables complex geometries, but has been limited in terms of hardness and component size so far. Researchers at the Fraunhofer IKTS in Dresden have now adapted the 3D printing process Fused Filament Fabrication for hardmetals. The development meets all requirements for the first time.

  • High-performance Roll-to-Roll processing for flexible electronics

    Ultra-thin flexible Corning® Willow® Glass with a glass thickness of 100 μm © Fraunhofer FEP, Photographer: Jürgen Lösel

    Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP as one of the leading partners for research and development for surface technologies and organic electronics presents a roll of flexible thin glass, which is coated with highly conductive ITO continuously on 100 meters with roll-to-roll technology for the first time at FLEX 2017, from June 19 – 22, 2017 in Monterey, USA at booth no. 1004.

  • High-speed Quantum Memory for Photons

    Schematic of a quantum network: single photons transmit quantum information between the network nodes, where they are stored in an atomic gas. University of Basel, Department of Physics

    Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a memory that can store photons. These quantum particles travel at the speed of light and are thus suitable for high-speed data transfer. The researchers were able to store them in an atomic vapor and read them out again later without altering their quantum mechanical properties too much. This memory technology is simple and fast and it could find application in a future quantum Internet. The journal Physical Review Letters has published the results.

  • HMI 2019: Conductive Metal-polymer Inks for Inkjet Printing: Flexible Electronics Without Sintering

    Flexible electronics without sintering. Free within this context; source: INM

    The INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials presents hybrid inks for inkjet printing that contain metal nanoparticles coated with conductive polymers. The inks can be formulated in water and in other polar solvents and are suitable to print conductive structures on a range of substrates without any subsequent thermal or UV treatment. Standard metal inks require annealing after inkjet printing to become conductive. INM’s new inks obviate this step, making them compatible with many substrates including thin polymer foils and paper.