Material sciences

  • Holographic analysis of Wi-Fi data generates 3D images of the vicinity

    A cross made of aluminum foil between the viewer and the WLAN-router can easily be reconstructed from the WLAN-hologram as can be seen in the inserted picture. Image: Friedemann Reinhard/Philipp Holl / TUM

    Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a holographic imaging process that depicts the radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter to generate three-dimensional images of the surrounding environment. Industrial facility operators could use this to track objects as they move through the production hall. Just like peering through a window, holograms project a seemingly three-dimensional image. While optical holograms require elaborate laser technology, generating holograms with the microwave radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter requires merely one fixed and one movable antenna, as Dr. Friedenmann Reinhard and Philipp Holl report in the current issue of the renowned scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

  • How Effective are Bonding Agents? Fraunhofer Uses Liquid Chromatography for Characterization

    Getting to know materials in detail: Fraunhofer LBF has researched the systematic structure-property relationships for functionalized polyolefins. Photo: Fraunhofer LBF

    Functionalized polyolefins are of great economic importance as bonding agents between polyolefins and polar surfaces. Despite years of effort, up to now there has never been any analytic method that could provide a comprehensive understanding of these materials to enable their effectiveness to be quickly assessed, for instance as part of incoming goods controlling. Now, a chromatographic method developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF makes it possible to develop systematic structure-property relationships for these materials for the first time.

  • How Magnetic Fields Can Fix Crystal Twinning

    Graphical representation of the magnetic interactions relevant to magnetic detwinning in EuFe₂As₂. Essential is the bi-quadratic coupling between Fe and Eu indicated by blue-red arrows. © Universität Augsburg/IfP/EKM

    Special coupling of magnetic moments in high-temperature superconductors allows to reorient crystalline domains leading to “perfect” single crystals. Augsburg/PhG/KPP – In many cases, it is important to be able to take measurements along different directions in the crystal lattice in order to study the physical properties of new materials, such as high-temperature superconductors.

  • How protons move through a fuel cell

    The experiments have been conducted with Barium ceric oxide. The crystal is non conductive in a dry state. When moisture comes in, the protons form OH-bondings and move through the crystal. Empa

    Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

    As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton conductivity is crucial for the latter; protons, i.e. positively charged hydrogen ions, are formed from hydrogen, which is used to power the fuel cell.

  • How Safe is Graphene?

    Biological effects under the microscope. Empa

    Graphene is considered one of the most interesting and versatile materials of our time. The application possibilities inspire both research and industry. But are products containing graphene also safe for humans and the environment? A comprehensive review, developed as part of the European graphene flagship project with the participation of Empa researchers, investigated this question.

  • Humboldt Fellowship for research on tunable optical surfaces for Terahertz technology

    Dr. Corey Shemelya. Thomas Koziel/TU Kaiserslautern

    U.S. scientist Dr. Corey Shemelya has recently started a research stay at the University of Kaiserslautern in the form of a fellowship granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Dr. Shemelya is studying structured optical surfaces which hold potential applications in communication technology and Terahertz imaging, e.g. body scanning equipment for airport safety. Shemelya is working in conjunction with the Terahertz Technology Laboratory of Professor Marco Rahm at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the State Research Center for Optical and Material Sciences (OPTIMAS).

  • HZB Researchers are Used to Boost the Efficiency of Silicon Solar Cells

    Principle of a silicon singlet fission solar cell with incorporated organic crystalls. M. Künsting/HZB

    The efficiency of a solar cell is one of its most important parameters. It indicates what percentage of the solar energy radiated into the cell is converted into electrical energy. The theoretical limit for silicon solar cells is 29.3 percent due to physical material properties. In the journal Materials Horizons, researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and international colleagues describe how this limit can be abolished.

  • IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018: 3D metal printer enables more efficient and lighter components

    The engineers around Professor Dr Roman Teutsch from Kaiserslautern use this technology to develop components for various commercial vehicles. Credits: TUK/Koziel

    Components for commercial vehicles such as excavators, trucks or forklifts should be as light as possible, yet stable and durable. At the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK), engineers at the Institute for Mechanical and Automotive Design (iMAD) rely on a 3D metal printer with which they can produce components in one piece. This technology permits to produce more filigree and lighter parts than with conventional processes. At the International Motor Show for Commercial Vehicles in Hanover (IAA) from 20 to 27 September at the research stand (Hall 13, Stand A28) of the Centre for Commercial Vehicle Technology (ZNT), researchers will answer questions about their technology.

  • ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

    Digitally created and saved in the cloud - how the digital twin accompanies the component throughout its entire life cycle will be a central topic at the ICTM Conference. © Photo Fraunhofer IPT

    “Digital production” is increasingly turning into an integral part of successful turbomachinery manufacturing: How digitalization approaches can enhance efficient manufacturing and lifetime of modern turbomachinery components will be the central aspect of the fourth “ICTM Conference” on February 15 and 16, 2017, in Aachen. Online registration for the conference is open now, with an early bird price until December 16, 2016. The event, which is organized by the Fraunhofer Institutes for Production Technolgy IPT and Laser Technology ILT, provides attendants of the turbomachinery industry with current information and the opportunity to discuss new developments around the major topics “Advanced Machining”, “Digitalization”, “Industrie 4.0” and “Additive Manufacturing”.

  • ICTM Conference 2017: "Turbomachinery manufacture profits from digitalization and networking"

    Over 250 experts from 19 countries attended the fourth International Conference for Turbomachinery Manufacture in Aachen, Germany. Copyright: Fraunhofer IPT

    Over 250 experts from 19 countries attended the fourth International Conference for Turbomachinery Manufacture, the ICTM Conference 2017, held 15 – 16 February in Aachen. There were 20 presentations given by speakers from the companies acknowledged as market leaders in the sector, reporting on the latest developments and emerging technologies for both manufacturing and using turbomachinery and its components in the aviation and power generation industries.

  • If Solubilty is the Problem - Mechanochemistry is the Solution

    Mechanical energy provided by the collision of milling ball in planetary ball mills allows to synthesize nanographene structures under environmentally friendly and solvent-free reaction conditions. Sven Grätz

     

    Chemist Dr. Lars Borchardt and his team at TU Dresden recently achieved a huge breakthrough in the synthesis of nanographenes. Because of their unique electrical, thermal and mechanical characteristics, the carbon modification graphene and its little brothers the nanographenes are known as a very promising material for applications in electronics, sensor technology and energy storage.

  • IHP brings INFOS conference to Germany

    Improvement of Silicon ICs by dielectrics: At the INFOS conference about 80 international scientists and engineers  will exchange their expertises about dielectrics and silicon circuits. © IHP/ 2017

    International conference unites engineers, technologists, material researchers, physicists and chemists in Potsdam - Their focus is on Insulating Films on Semicondoctors.

    Frankfurt (Oder). In June 2017, engineers, technologists, material researchers, physicists and chemists will meet in Potsdam. It is the first time that the international conference “INFOS” will be performed in Brandenburg. The Leibniz-institute IHP innovations for high performances microelectronics, located in Frankfurt (Oder), is organising the meeting, where experts from Europe, Asia and America will exchange their expertises on Insulating Films on Semicondoctors (INFOS).

  • 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.