Material sciences

  • ILA 2018: Automated Lightweight Construction Reduces Weight and Costs

    The Fraunhofer ENAS manufactures printed circuit boards in screen printing on a flexible plastic film. The tracks transmit electrical impulses – for example, to make LEDs glow. Fraunhofer ENAS

    The aircraft of the future flies electrically and autonomously, is feather-light and can be conveniently produced in a fully automated manner. While the electrification and permanent autopilot are still in their infancy, lightweight construction is already indispensable today. Digital manufacturing processes are about to be applied. Fraunhofer will present new automated production technologies for lightweight construction materials at the ILA, the largest innovation trade fair in the aerospace industry, at the Berlin ExpoCenter Airport from April 25 to 29, 2018 (Hall 2, Booth 229).

  • ILA 2018: Laser Alternative to Hexavalent Chromium Coating

    Demonstration: A video at the ILA Berlin Air Show shows how quickly, precisely and efficiently EHLA Laser Material Deposition works. © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Volker Lannert.

    At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

  • Imaging How Magnetism Goes Surfing

    Figure. Two examples of imaged strain and resulting magnetization configurations. ill.:/©: Michael Foerster, ALBA

    Using advanced dynamic imaging, researchers have been able to visualise deformation (sound) waves in crystals and measured the effect on nanomagnetic elements. This offers new low power magnetization manipulation for memory or logic applications and the methodology offers a new approach for analysing dynamic strains in other research fields: nanoparticles, chemical reactions, crystallography, etc.

  • In Best Circles: First Integrated Circuit From Self-Assembled Polymer

    The scientists made an IC from a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer. Copyright: MPI for Polymer Research

    For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach. In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used for logic operation in digital circuits and are the building blocks of an integrated circuit.

  • Individual Impurity Atoms Detectable in Graphene

    Using the atomic force microscope’s carbon monoxide functionalized tip (red/silver), the forces between the tip and the various atoms in the graphene ribbon can be measured. Image: University of Basel, Department of Physics

    A team including physicists from the University of Basel has succeeded in using atomic force microscopy to clearly obtain images of individual impurity atoms in graphene ribbons. Thanks to the forces measured in the graphene’s two-dimensional carbon lattice, they were able to identify boron and nitrogen for the first time, as the researchers report in the journal Science Advances.

  • Industrial Maturity of Electrically Conductive Adhesives for Silicon Solar Cells Demonstrated

    Solar cells with three, four or five busbars can be interconnected in the adhesive stringer. © Fraunhofer ISE

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and teamtechnik, an international leader in production technology, report that it is now possible to connect high efficiency solar cells using electrically conductive adhesives in series production. The results of the joint research project »KleVer« show that the adhesive technology is ready for the market and can be used as an alternative to the widespread soft soldering interconnection technology. Due to the much lower process temperatures of this technology compared to soldering, temperature-sensitive high efficiency solar cells can be connected using adhesives in a gentle and material-saving process.

  • InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

    “Throwing light into the process”: Determination of chemical parameters by optical measurement through a vessel wall. Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Optical process analytics – this fast and non-contact method of measuring chemical and physical parameters provides high-density information without the need to take samples. What’s more, it can be shrunk to a far smaller size and is easy to integrate into existing process lines. From its location in Aachen, Germany, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology led a consortium to analyze the future potential of this technique in cooperation with BAM and RWTH Aachen University. The purpose of the study, entitled “Inline process analytics with light – InLight” was to develop a technology roadmap and a detailed white paper that will be presented to a wider public in early 2017.

  • Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

    Selective laser melting makes it possible to manufacture highly complex geometries made of magnesium and magnesium alloys in a flexible and precise way. LZH

    Smallest structures, complex parts or individual implants – due to its flexibility additive manufacturing has a high potential for use in modern production technology. Therefore, this topic is perfectly suited for the ”Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing” that is organized by NiedersachsenMetall and the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) to transfer the latest research and development results to industrial application. On November 09th, 2016, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are invited to come to the LZH to inform themselves about laser-based additive manufacturing.

  • Insects Supply Chitin as a Raw Material for the Textile Industry

    After pupae shed their skin, pupal exuviae remain as residual stream. Fraunhofer IGB

    Harmful chemicals are often used in textile processing. That is why the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB is researching harmless biobased alternatives. The Institute is working on utilizing side streams from the animal feed manufacture for the production of chitosan.

  • Intelligente Filter für innovative Leichtbaukonstruktionen

    Schaumkeramikfilter auf Basis von Aluminiumoxid für die Aluminiumschmelzefiltration

    Hochtechnologie-Produkte der Zukunft basieren auf hochreinen, fehlerfreien Werkstoffen, die eine gleichmäßige Einstellung der chemischen Zusammensetzung und eine verstärkte Kontrolle des Reinheitsgrades der metallischen Werkstoffe erfordern. Wissenschaftler und Doktoranden aus elf Instituten der TU Bergakademie Freiberg erforschen seit 5 Jahren, wie anorganische nichtmetallische Einschlüsse in Metallschmelzen durch den Einsatz intelligenter Filterwerkstoffe bzw. Filtersysteme aus Keramik reduziert werden können.
    Nun präsentieren sie Forschung und Ergebnisse des SFB 920 „Multifunktionale Filter für die Metallschmelzefiltration - ein Beitrag zu Zero Defect Materials“ auf der CellMAT 2016.

  • Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

    S. Manna and R. Wiesendanger, University of Hamburg, Germany

    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 spatially coexist with antiferromagnetism.

  • It Takes Two: Structuring Metal Surfaces Efficiently with Lasers

    A combination of nanosecond and picosecond pulses make the precision manufacture of functional surfaces also efficient. Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    In the automotive industry, more and more surfaces are getting a microstructure treatment. Whether they are added to cylinders or dashboards, functional surfaces are all the rage. Able to offer virtually unlimited precision, lasers are the right tool for the job. To ensure that productivity matches precision, development is under way on a machine that will be able to efficiently process even large surfaces thanks to a combination of two different pulse types. Ultrashort pulse lasers have for many years been the tool of choice for processing micromaterials. No matter what the material, ultrashort pulse lasers can ablate even in the micrometer range with high precision. The only catch is that it takes plenty of time concerning the industrial application.

  • It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-charging Solid-state Batteries

    The solid electrolyte serves as a stable carrier material to which the electrodes are currently applied on both sides using the screen printing process.  Forschungszentrum Jülich / Regine Panknin

    There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature.

  • IVAM’s LaserForum Visits the Swiss Canton of St. Gallen with the Topic Ultrashort Pulse Lasers

    Thin-film removal with the UKP-Laser. Source: Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Volker Lannert

    On October 17, 2017 the LaserForum visits the city of Buchs in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen with the topic "Ultrashort pulse lasers: new technologies, materials processing & medical applications". Host is the NTB Interstate University of Technology Buchs. The LaserForum take place on international ground for the first time in 2017. The event has been organized by the IVAM Microtechnology Network in collaboration with partners from industry and research for ten years now.

  • Joining Metals without Welding

    The aluminium flange is firmly attached to the aluminium wall. Photo: Siekmann, CAU

    Kiel prototype for new connection technology will be presented at the Hannover Messe. Welding is still the standard technique for joining metals. However, this laborious process carried out at high temperatures is not suitable for all applications. Now, a research team from the "Functional Nanomaterials" working group at Kiel University, together with the company Phi-Stone AG from Kiel, has developed a versatile alternative to conventional welding and gluing processes.

  • Key Enabling Technologies at HANNOVER MESSE 2017

    Needle with very sharp tip end (

    Within the new focus area MICRO-NANO-AREA, the IVAM Microtechnology Network and Deutsche Messe will pool the “Key Enabling Technologies” Micro- and Nanotechnology, MEMS, Photonics and Advanced Materials. With these technologies, production of structures, components and devices is becoming more precise, more reliable, more flexible and faster. The following exhibitors will present their product innovations on-site.

  • Laser rescue system for serious accidents

    The chances for rescue are much higher the faster a person can be freed from the vehicle. Photo: Stadt Dortmund – Institut für Feuerwehr- und Rettungstechnologie

    Better technology and modern materials increase the traffic safety and save human life. But they pose totally new challenges for the emergency personnel at the accident site. Because today, tools like hydraulic rescue cutters more and more often reach their limits. A mobile laser unit for rescue missions shall solve this problem. The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH), six project partners and eight associated partners have teamed up to develop this system. In the past 25 years, the number of road traffic deaths has been drastically reduced, and the number of severely injured persons decreased significantly, too. Among others, the declining figures are due to improved passive safety. The use of high-tensile steel and composite materials adds to this.

  • Laser-additive manufacturing paves the way to Industry 4.0

    Additive manufacturing at the micro scale using Selective Laser Melting. LZH

    On November 09th, 2016, already for the third time, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and NiedersachsenMetall invited small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to attend the Innovation Day Laser Technology at LZH. About 100 guests informed themselves about the state-of-the-art as well as the application and market potential of the focus topic “Laser Additive Manufacturing”. „Are we ready for implementing Industry 4.0?“, asked Dr. Volker Schmidt, CEO of NiedersachsenMetall and Chairman of the Industrial Board of the LZH, the audience at the beginning. With regard to the innovation potentials and new markets, he emphasized the high importance of digitalization. “What is the future of work in the age of digitalization?”, opened Ingelore Hering from the Lower Saxony Ministry for Economics, Labour and Transport her welcome speech with a question, too. “Only all stakeholders together can find sustainable answers to this challenge. For example here today.”

  • LaserTAB: More Efficient and Precise Contacts Thanks to Human-Robot Collaboration

    The lightweight construction robot “intelligent industrial work assistant” guarantees that man and machine cooperate smoothly. © KUKA AG, Augsburg, Germany.

    At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

  • Launch of New Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing

    Image 1:  Surface structuring with laser radiation. © Fraunhofer IPT, Aachen, Germany.

    At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility. In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive manufacturing to laser polishing – are now commonplace in large-scale production.