Material sciences

  • 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.

  • Converts One-third of the Sunlight into Electricity: 33.3 % Silicon-based Multi-junction Solar Cell

    Silicon-based multi-junction solar cell consisting of III-V semiconductors and silicon. The record cell converts 33.3. percent of the incident sunlight into electricity. © Fraunhofer ISE/Photo: Dirk Mahler

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with the company EV Group (EVG) have developed a new silicon-based multi-junction solar cell, which can convert exactly one-third of the incident sunlight into useful electricity. This newest result is now published in the renowned scientific magazine Nature Energy.

  • Conveyor Technology: Moving Large Quantities of Small Goods Using Muscles Made of Silicone Polymer

    Prof. Stefan Seelecke (l.) and Steffen Hau will be exhibiting a model of their vibrating conveyor system at Hannover Messe. Credit: Oliver Dietze

    Using artificial-muscle actuators, Stefan Seelecke and his team of engineers at Saarland University have developed a new self-optimizing conveyor technology that adapts itself to the size, weight and desired speed of the materials being conveyed. The technology makes use of silicone polymer-based artificial muscles to transport dry bulk materials of all kinds, from foodstuffs to small metal components. By exploiting the properties of electromechanically active polymers, the Saarbrücken research team has built an actuator that they install at intervals below the conveyor belt.

  • Cooling towards absolute zero using super-heavy electrons

    Temperature evolution of an Yb0.81Sc0.19Co2Zn20 single crystal during the reduction of a magnetic field from 8 to 0 Tesla. © University of Augsburg, IFP/EP VI

    New quantum material significantly improves adiabatic demagnetization cooling

  • Cooperation with Namibia underway for new materials for industrial applications

    f.l.: Gerhard Wenz, Saar Uni, Bernd Reinhard, INM, Günter Weber, INM, Erold Naomab, UNAM, Kenneth Matengu, UNAM, Aránzazu del Campo, , INM, Roland Rolles, Saar Uni, Carsten Becker-Willinger, INM. Sourec: INM

    The INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials officially began its collaborative effort with the University of Namibia (UNAM) by holding a kick-off workshop. The aim of the joint project, NaMiComp, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, is to analyze Namibia’s locally available natural resources and then use them as a basis for new materials for industrial applications. INM and UNAM are working together on the NaMiComp project in order to establish and strengthen research competence in materials science at UNAM. In the long term, the aim is to build an on-site materials science institute at the University of Namibia.

  • Copper Compound as Promising Quantum Computing Unit

    Jena doctoral student Benjamin Kintzel looks at a laboratory vessel containing crystals of a novel molecule that may possibly be used in a quantum computer. Photo: Jan-Peter Kasper/FSU

     

    Quantum computers could vastly increase the capabilities of IT systems, bringing major changes worldwide. However, there is still a long way to go before such a device can actually be constructed, because it has not yet been possible to transfer existing molecular concepts into technologies in a practical way. This has not kept researchers around the world away from developing and optimising new ideas for individual components. Chemists at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena (Germany) have now synthesised a molecule that can perform the function of a computing unit in a quantum computer. They report on their work in the current issue of the research journal ‘Chemical Communications’.

  • Corrective glass for mass spectrometry imaging

    Custom-built laser source for mass spectrometry imaging: By means of the improved LAESI technique the surface of this coarse piece of savoy cabbage can now be chemically analyzed. Benjamin Bartels / Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

    Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have now improved mass spectrometry imaging in such a way that the distribution of molecules can also be visualized on rippled, hairy, bulgy or coarse surfaces. The source of the laser-based technique was custom-built to accommodate the topography of non-flat samples. By employing a distances sensor, a height profile of the surface is recorded before the actual chemical imaging. The new tool can be used for answering ecological questions from a new perspective.

  • Corrosion and Wear Protection: Economical, Environmentally Friendly and Extremely Fast

    With EHLA, metal protective layers can be applied with ultra-high-speed. Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Volker Lannert.

    Components are protected against corrosion and wear through hard chrome plating, thermal spraying, laser material deposition or other deposition welding techniques. However, there are downsides to these processes – for example, as of September 2017, chromium(VI) coatings will require authorization. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen as well as the RWTH Aachen University have now developed an ultra-high-speed laser material deposition process, known by its German acronym EHLA, to eliminate these drawbacks. On May 30, 2017, the research team was awarded the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize for this work.

  • Cryo-force Spectroscopy Reveals the Mechanical Properties of DNA Components

    At low temperatures, a DNA strand is removed from the gold surface using the tip of an atomic force microscope. In the process, physical parameters can be determined. Image: University of Basel, Department of Physics

    Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a new method to examine the elasticity and binding properties of DNA molecules on a surface at extremely low temperatures. With a combination of cryo-force spectroscopy and computer simulations, they were able to show that DNA molecules behave like a chain of small coil springs. The researchers reported their findings in Nature Communications.

  • Crystals for Superconduction, Quantum Computing and High Efficiency Solar Cells

    Crystals have applications in a wide variety of fields. Photo of a multicrystalline silicon wafer, which serves as the basis of a solar cell.  ©Fraunhofer ISE

    From March 8-10, 2017, an International Conference on Crystal Growth is to be held in Freiburg under the auspices of the German Association of Crystal Growth DGKK and the Swiss Society for Crystallography SGK-SSCR. The conference, jointly organized by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, the Crystallography department of the Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University Freiburg and the University of Geneva, is to be held in the seminar rooms of the Chemistry Faculty of the University of Freiburg. Furthermore, the Young DGKK will hold a seminar for young scientists at Fraunhofer ISE on March 7, 2017.

  • CVD Diamond Coating: New Innovative Process Improves the Adhesion of Diamond to Cemented Carbide

    The broken edge of a diamond-coated carbide component pretreated with the newly developed procedure, with significantly improved adhesion of the diamond layer. © Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM

    To reduce process costs in industrial parts manufacturing while simultaneously improving quality, the use of diamond-coated, cemented carbide cutting tools has increased. Adhesion of diamond coatings was previously problematic, particularly when processing composite or lightweight materials. Suitable pretreatment is therefore vital. Dr. Manuel Mee of the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM has developed a new pretreatment routine that increases the adhesion of CVD diamond to carbide: by combining several approaches into a single process, all factors which affect the adhesion of the coating can be taken into consideration, leading to a fundamental improvement of the adhesion.

  • Data Storage Using Individual Molecules

    Graphic animation of a possible data memory on the atomic scale: A data storage element - consisting of only 6 xenon atoms - is liquefied by a voltage pulse. Universität Basel, Departement of Physics

    Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

  • Describing the Behaviour of Electrons Under Extreme Conditions for the First Time

    In nature, the hot, dense matter of electron gas occurs inside planets, such as here in Jupiter. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gabriel Fiset

    Electrons are an elementary component of our world: they surround the core of all atoms, are essential to the formation of molecules, and primarily determine the properties of solids and liquids. They are also the charge carriers of electrical current, without which our high-tech environment with smartphones, computers and even the traditional light bulb would not be conceivable. In spite of their omnipresence in everyday life, we have not yet been able to accurately describe the behaviour of interacting electrons - only approximate it in models - especially at extreme temperatures and densities, such as inside planets or in stars.

  • Designing Nanocrystals for More Efficient Optoelectronics

    The luminescent atoms in the image show a nanocrystal which is characterized with atomistic resolution, including its interface chemistry. experimental and theoretical approaches. Published with permission by Nature Publishing Group. Copyright: Peter Allen

     

    New artificial materials for semiconductors used in solar cells or photoelectrochemical cells that are designed from scratch with totally new and tailored properties: this is the latest research topic of Stefan Wippermann, head of the group “Atomistic Modelling“ at the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung), and his team. They characterized for the first time with atomic resolution a typical material system and are able to set design principles.

  • Development and Fast Analysis of 3D Printed HF Components

    Fraunhofer FHR’s high frequency scanner SAMMI® analyses the quality of 3D printed high frequency structures. Fraunhofer FHR

    3D printing is becoming increasingly important for the development of modern high frequency systems as it opens up new design possibilities. Fraunhofer FHR is exploring these possibilities for its customers and partners: from designing new HF components to testing these components. Engineers are inspecting the quality of components manufactured using additive processes with their high frequency transmitted light imaging system SAMMI®, e.g. to verify the correct density gradients of the material. As a member of the Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland, they will present this system at the Hannover Messe in hall 2, booth C22, from April 23 to 27, 2018.