Material sciences

  • 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.

  • 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.