Material sciences

  • Breakthrough in materials science: Kiel research team can bond metals with nearly all surfaces

    The targeted etching process of “nanoscale-sculpturing” roughens the upper layer of metal (here aluminium, 20 µm = 0.02 mm), thereby creating a 3D-structure with tiny hooks.   Melike Baytekin‐Gerngroß

    How metals can be used depends particularly on the characteristics of their surfaces. A research team at Kiel University has discovered how they can change the surface properties without affecting the mechanical stability of the metals or changing the metal characteristics themselves. This fundamentally new method is based on using an electro-chemical etching process, in which the uppermost layer of a metal is roughened on a micrometer scale in a tightly-controlled manner. Through this “nanoscale-sculpturing” process, metals such as aluminium, titanium, or zinc can permanently be joined with nearly all other materials, become water-repellent, or improve their biocompatibility.

  • Breakthrough with 3D printed Gas Turbine Blades

    Extreme conditions for the 3D-printed blades: The blades had to endure 13,000 revolutions per minute and temperatures beyond 1,250 degrees Celsius.

    Siemens has achieved a breakthrough in the 3D printing of gas turbine blades. For the first time, a team of experts has full-load tested gas turbine blades that were entirely produced using additive manufacturing. The tests were conducted at the Siemens test center for industrial gas turbines in Lincoln, Great Britain. Over the course of several months, Siemens engineers from Lincoln, Berlin, and the Swedish municipality of Finspong worked with experts from Materials Solutions to optimize the gas turbine blades and their production. Within just 18 months, the international project team succeeded in developing the entire process chain, from the design of individual components, to the development of materials, all the way to new methods of quality control and the simulation of component service life. In addition, Siemens tested a new additively manufactured blade design with a fully revised and improved internal cooling geometry.

  • Brightest Source of Entangled Photon

    Optical setup for experiments with entangled photons at IFW Dresden. Photo: Jürgen Loesel

    Scientists at Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW) and at Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) have developed a broadband optical antenna for highly efficient extraction of entangled photons. With a yield of 37% per pulse, it is the brightest source of entangled photons reported so far.

  • Bringing 3D models to life acoustically

    Bringing virtual poducts and machines to life acoustically is the goal of Fraunhofer IDMT´s research. Fraunhofer IDMT

    At Hannover Messe, taking place April 24 – 28, Fraunhofer IDMT will be presenting the findings from a research project on making the sounds of electrically powered machines, devices, or components audible during virtual product development already. New developments allow the use of 3D models to analyze, assess and improve the acoustic properties of products, instead of building costly real prototypes.

    What do heavy production machinery, such as milling machines or CNC cutting machines, and household appliances, like washing machines or hair dryers, have in common? Not very much, one might suppose imagining the visual characteristics of these different objects only. But if we extend our imagination to hearing, we will find that all these objects produce specific sounds.

  • Call for Abstracts: 3rd Euro Intelligent Materials

    © Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel (Germany)

    The 3rd European Symposium on Intelligent Materials will take place in Kiel (Germany) from 7th to 9th June 2017. Conference chairs are Christine Selhuber-Unkel and Eckhard Quandt from the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (Germany).

  • Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

    Artistic rendering of a light-emitting transistor with carbon nanotubes between two mirrors for electrical generation of polaritons. Image credit: Dr Yuriy Zakharko, co-author

    Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University (Germany) and the University of St Andrews (Scotland) used light-emitting and extremely stable transistors to reach strong light-matter coupling and create exciton-polaritons. These particles may pave the way for new light sources, so-called electrically pumped polariton lasers, that could be manufactured with carbon nanotubes.

  • Carinthia continues to expand Villach as a microelectronics research cluster

    CTR research cleanroom media conference from left: Werner Scherf (CTR), Gaby Schaunig (Deputy Governor of Carinthia), Simon Grasser (CTR)  CTR/Helge Bauer

    Carinthian Tech Research (CTR) invests €4.5 Mio in research cleanroom for microsensors and systems integration. Carinthian government supports investment in high-tech facilities at the Villach site.

    CTR Carinthian Tech Research is on of Austria’s largest application-oriented research centres in the area of smart sensors and systems integration. In close cooperation with industry, over 70 researchers work on developing the tiniest microsensors and power electronics as well as their assembly and packaging. An important new addition to the R&D facilities at the Villach site is the recently built research cleanroom, which is now available for microchip research and systems integration.

  • CeGlaFlex project: wafer-thin, unbreakable and flexible ceramic and glass

    Picture 1: A matter of shape: the Fraunhofer CeGlaFlex project is developing very thin, malleable and transparent protective covers for OLEDs in the roll-to-roll process. © Fraunhofer FEP, Dresden, Germany.

    Only twice as thick as a strand of hair, or around 100 µm: that’s how thin the transparent, scratchproof and malleable ceramic layers of the future that are meant to protect portable electronics are. Since March 2017, the methods and process chains for producing this material have been in development at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT as part of a three-year research project called CeGlaFlex. Mobile electronics, regardless of whether it is a cellular phone, tablet or blood pressure monitor, rely on the quality of their touch-screen displays. In keeping with the trend of individually shaped smart devices, they should be not only scratchproof, unbreakable and chemically stable, but also easy to mold.

  • Cfaed Researchers of TU Dresden Uncover Doping in Organic Semiconductors

    Geometry of a molecular cluster of dopant and host molecules with benzimidazoline dopant and a C60 molecule. S. Schellhammer/ F. Ortmann

    A group of physicists from the cfaed at TU Dresden, together with researchers from Japan, were able to demonstrate in a study how the doping of organic semiconductors can be simulated and experimentally verified. The study has now been published in “Nature Materials”. In semiconductor technology, doping refers to the intentional introduction of impurities (also known as dopants) into a layer or into the intrinsic semiconductor of an integrated circuit.

  • Chemical Reactions in the Light of Ultrashort X-ray Pulses from Free-electron Lasers

    Ultrashort X-ray pulses (pink) ionize neon gas in the center of the ring. An infrared laser (orange) deflects the electrons (blue) on their way to the detectors. Image: Terry Anderson / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

    Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

  • Chemists Develop a New Method for the Formation of Fluorinated Molecular Rings

    Illustration of the new synthetic method. WWU/Frank Glorius

    Chemists led by Prof. Frank Glorius from the University of Münster have developed a new and practical synthetic method for the formation of fluorinated three-dimensional “saturated” molecular ring structures. This development can have great importance for the efficient production of new molecules and, consequently, new drugs, crop protection agents and functional materials.

  • Chemists of TU Dresden Develop Highly Porous Material, More Precious than Diamonds

    The framework of DUT-60 holds a pore volume of 5.02 cm3g-1 – the highest specific pore volume one has ever measured among all crystalline framework materials so far. Dr. I. Senkovska, TU Dresden

    World Record of Cavities. Porosity is the key to high-performance materials for energy storage systems, environmental technologies or catalysts: The more porous a solid state material is, the more liquids and gases it is able to store. However, a multitude of pores destabilizes the material. In search of the stability limits of such frameworks, researchers of the TU Dresden’s Faculty of Chemistry broke a world record: DUT-60 is a new crystalline framework with the world’s highest specific surface and the highest specific pore volume (5.02 cm3g-1) measured so far among all known crystalline framework materials.

  • Coating Free-form Surfaces on Large Optical Components

    1-dimensional graded, nearly sinusoidal layer thickness curve on glass substrate (450x450 mm). © Fraunfofer FEP

    The business unit Precision Coatings at Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has special expertise in developing deposition processes for high-precision coating systems on optical components. Now, a coating technology for Deposition of laterally graded optical layers on 2D and in the future also on 3D substrates has been developed. The results will be presented at the 2nd OptecNet Annual Conference in Berlin, June 20-21, 2018.

  • Cold plasma: Get started with the Disc Jet

    The Disc Jet can also be used to process cavities.

    Plasmas are often found in the center of stars – on Earth, the electrically charged gas mixtures are a rare occurrence, such as in lightning discharges or aurora borealis lights. However, you can provide some help with high heat or high electrical voltages. Fraunhofer researchers have produced cold plasmas and used them for the surface treatment of temperature-sensitive materials. In doing so, recesses or undercuts were no longer a problem, thanks to a new technology – the Disc Jet can reach everywhere.

  • Color Effects from Transparent 3D-printed Nanostructures

    Light hits the 3D-printed nanostructures from below. After it is transmitted through, the viewer sees only green light—the remaining colors are redirected. Thomas Auzinger

    Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and certain color effects are impossible to achieve. The natural world, however, also exhibits structural coloration, where the microstructure of an object causes various colors to appear. Peacock feathers, for instance, are pigmented brown, but—because of long hollows within the feathers—reflect the gorgeous, iridescent blues and greens we see and admire.

  • Combining the Benefits of 3D Printing and Casting

    In additive freeform molding, the shell of a part is constructed using FDM printing. A dosing unit in the printer then fills this with a two-component mixture. Fraunhofer IPA/Rainer Bez

     

    Researchers at Fraunhofer IPA have developed a new process that combines 3D printing and casting. In additive freeform casting (AFFC), first a shell of the part is manufactured using FLM printing, then this shell is filled with a two-component resin. This saves time, increases stability of the part and allows new materials to be printed.

  • COMPAMED '18 Presents International Medical Technology Experts with their Future Trend Technologies

    Concept of the Sens-o-Spheres with power receiver, microcontroller and signal processing, battery as well as encapsulation. (c) TU Dresden

    The COMPAMED, which takes place annually co-located to the MEDICA in Dusseldorf, Germany, is an established and world-wide well-known marketplace for medical components and technologies. Every year, the COMPAMED asserts itself as the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing.

    Especially in the field of medical devices for mobile diagnostics, therapy and laboratory equipment increasingly powerful, smart and reliable high-tech solutions are needed. This is why the demand for miniaturization of medical components continues to grow steadily.

  • Complex Tessellations, Extraordinary Materials

    So-called Archimedean tessellations are often associated with very special properties, for example unusual electrical conductivity, special light reflectivity or extreme mechanical strength. Klappenberger and Zhang / TUM

    An international team of researchers lead by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has discovered a reaction path that produces exotic layers with semiregular structures. These kinds of materials are interesting because they frequently possess extraordinary properties. In the process, simple organic molecules are converted to larger units which form the complex, semiregular patterns.

  • Concepts for new Switchable Plasmonic Nanodivices

    Configuration of a switchable plasmonic router consisting of a T-shaped metallic waveguide surrounded by a ferromagnetic dielectric material and under the action of an external magnetic field. Fig. MBI

     

    Plasmonic waveguides open the possibility to develop dramatically miniaturized optical devices and provide a promising route towards the next-generation of integrated nanophotonic circuits for information processing, optical computing and others. Key elements of nanophotonic circuits are switchable plasmonic routers and plasmonic modulators.

  • Controlled Coupling of Light and Matter

    Artistic representation of a plasmonic nano-resonator realized by a narrow slit in a gold layer. Upon approaching the quantum dot (red) to the slit opening the coupling strength increases. Image: Heiko Groß

    Publishing in a journal like Science Advances usually heralds a particularly exciting innovation. Now, physicists from the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Germany and Imperial College London in the UK are reporting controlled coupling of light and matter at room temperature. This achievement is particularly significant as it builds the foundations for a realization of practical photonic quantum technologies.