Material sciences

  • 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.

  • Fusible and Printable Elastomer Sensors for e-textiles

    Sensor patterns and conducting paths printed on polyester textile. © K. Selsam for Fraunhofer ISC

    Integrating sensoric functions into textiles or elastomers is way more difficult than equipping machines because it requires movable or extensible sensors. The Center Smart Materials CeSMa of the Fraunhofer ISC with its experience in the field of adaptive elastomers has developed highly elastic sensors and actuators based on silicone. They provide a wide range of sensoric and actoric functions for smart electronic textiles (e-textiles) with a broad application potential in medical technology, in sports, in furniture, vehicles or in transport safety. CeSMa will be presenting its developments from May 14-17 at TechTextil 2019 in Frankfurt.

  • 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.

  • 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 2019: BAM Conducts Research on 3D-printed Concrete Components

    BAM is conducting research on new materials and processes for 3D printing in the construction industry. Source: BAM

    Hannover, 01/04/2019. The Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) will present their research on additive manufacturing methods for complex concrete components at the Hannover Messe 2019. These methods could be used to produce tailor-made components for sewage systems quickly and economically in the future. Prototypes of various 3D printed components will be on display for those attending the trade fair.

  • 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.