Material sciences

  • 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.

  • Decoupled Graphene Thanks to Potassium Bromide

    Potassium bromide molecules (pink) arrange themselves between the copper substrate (yellow) and the graphene layer (gray). This brings about electrical decoupling. © Department of Physics, University of Basel

    The use of potassium bromide in the production of graphene on a copper surface can lead to better results. When potassium bromide molecules arrange themselves between graphene and copper, it results in electronic decoupling. This alters the electrical properties of the graphene produced, bringing them closer to pure graphene, as reported by physicists from the universities of Basel, Modena and Munich in the journal ACS Nano.

  • 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.

  • Diamond Friction: Simulation Reveals Previously Unknown Friction Mechanisms at the Molecular Level

    Passivation of water-lubricated diamond surfaces by aromatic Pandey surface reconstruction (orange). Image: © Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM

    Diamond coatings help reduce friction and wear on tools, bearings, and seals. Lubricating diamond with water considerably lowers friction. The reasons for this are not yet fully understood. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Mechanics IWM in Freiburg and the Physics Institute at the University of Freiburg have discovered a new explanation for the friction behavior of diamond surfaces under the influence of water. One major finding: in addition to the known role played by passivation of the surfaces via water-splitting, an aromatic passivation via Pandey reconstruction can occur. The results have been published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

  • Diamond Lenses and Space Lasers at Photonics West

    Image 1: This laser cutting head with diamond optics features built-in water cooling and shielding gas supply; diamond lenses reduce its weight by 90%. © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    San Francisco's Photonics West, the world's premier optics and photonics trade fair, aims to bring together science and industry once again in 2018. Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be putting on an effective demonstration of how to converge the two. The Aachen-based company's booth in the German Pavilion is primed to showcase cutting-edge technology, such as a 90% lighter laser cutting head and a laser platform for space applications. Photonics experts from around the world will make their annual pilgrimage to San Francisco in late January.

  • Diamond Lenses Make Laser Optics Significantly Lighter

    Diamond optics are characterized by significantly greater heat conductivity and a higher refractive index while also having outstanding mechanical properties. © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen / Volker Lannert.

    Diamonds are not only a girl's best friend, but synthetic diamonds are also attractive as a material for laser optics: thanks to their extremely high refractive index and excellent heat conduction, laser optics made with them are ten times lighter than conventional laser optics. Fiber lasers in the kW range could, thus, operate with greater flexibility. Three Fraunhofer institutes have optimized the production and processing of diamonds in recent years, and the first cutting system with diamond lenses is being tested.

  • Diamond Watch Components

    An anchor for a watch component made of single-crystal synthetic diamond. Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

    SNSF-funded researchers have developed a new technique for carving materials to create micromechanical systems. In particular, they have created a miniscule watch component out of synthetic single-crystal diamond.

  • Diesel engine with innovative steel pistons

    The BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled "Steel pistons for more efficient diesel engines" © BINE Informationsdienst

    Car engines are becoming increasingly compact with a greater specific power. This reduces the weight, moving masses and fuel consumption. In the engine, however, the temperatures and pressures rise for individual components. This causes conventional pistons made of aluminium to reach their limits. The new BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled "Steel pistons for more efficient diesel engines" (14/2016) presents a cooling concept for engine pistons using a liquid metal alloy. Compared with aluminium, steel offers greater strength against thermal and mechanical loads.

  • Directly-cooled Electric Motor Made from Polymer Materials

    Sectional view of the electric motor. © Fraunhofer ICT

    Making electric cars lighter also involves reducing the weight of the motor. One way to do that is by constructing it from fiber-reinforced polymer materials. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT are working together with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT to develop a new cooling concept that will enable polymers to be used as motor housing materials. And that’s not the only advantage of the new cooling concept: it also significantly increases the power density and efficiency of the motor compared to the state of the art.

  • Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

    Printed thermoelectric module with flexible geometry Fraunhofer IWS Dresden

    The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

  • E-Mobility: Battery Cells Optimally Welded with Robots and Lasers for Electric Racing Cars

    LaserTAB: at LASER WoP 2019, Fraunhofer ILT will be showcasing the laser-welded battery pack was developed in the EU project OPTEMUS (grant number 653288). © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    No e-mobility without laser technology: this is one of the claims of LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019. In keeping with the theme of this year’s fair, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be using Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding (LaserTAB) to demonstrate how even the most diverse battery cells and power electronics can be combined reliably using robot-assisted laser micro welding. At the Fraunhofer joint booth 431, hall A2, visitors can admire the electric racing car "eace05" of the Ecurie Aix - Formula Student Team, RWTH Aachen. An excellent example for the use of laser technology in electromobility, containing laser-welded batteries as well as laser-cut CFK-components.

  • Ears from the 3D-printer

    A 3D-printed ear: Empa researcher Michael Hausmann uses nanocellulose as the basis for novel implants. Empa

    Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing. It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains: «In viscous state cellulose nanocrystals can easily be shaped together with nother biopolymers into complex 3-dimensional structures using a 3D printer, such as the Bioplotter.” Once cross-linked, the structures remain stable despite their soft mechanical properties.

  • Easy Printing of Biosensors Made of Graphene

    Endless film with printed biosensors: Fraunhofer has developed a convenient roll-to-roll process. Fraunhofer IBMT

    Cell-based biosensors can simulate the effect of various substances, such as drugs, on the human body in the laboratory. Depending on the measuring principle, though, producing them can be expensive. As a result, they are often not used. Cost factors for sensors that perform measurements electrically are the expensive electrode material and complex production. Fraunhofer scientists are now producing biosensors with graphene electrodes cheaply and simply in roll-to-roll printing. A system prototype for mass production already exists.

  • Economical Energy Storage for the Electric Car of Tomorrow

    This is what the electrodes coated with the new dry transfer coating technology look like. © Fraunhofer IWS Dresden

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden have developed a new production process with the aim of efficient and environmentally friendly future battery production. They coat the electrodes of the energy storage cells with a dry film instead of liquid chemicals. This simplified process saves energy and eliminates toxic solvents. A Finnish company is currently successfully testing the new IWS technology in practice.

  • Economical Engines Due to Less Friction

    The Diamor® coating developed at the Fraunhofer IWS could contribute to reduce CO2 emissions by reducing friction in the engine cylinder between the coated piston pin and the connecting rod bushing. © Fraunhofer IWS Dresden

    Together with the automotive industry, researchers at the Fraunhofer IWS have been working to develop processes for friction-reducing surfaces of engine components over the past few years. Now, carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced even further by enhancing surface technology. The Dresden Institute is researching in this direction with various partners in the joint project "Prometheus".

  • Effective Deposition of Thin Insulating Layers for Sensors in Hydrogen Technology

    Schematic of a hydrogen filling station as an application scenario for pressure sensors with insulation layers. © metamorworks / Shutterstock

    Scientists at the Fraunhofer FEP have investigated new approaches for depositing low-defect insulating layers, part of the joint project “NaFuSS“ (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research/BMBF promotional reference number 13N13171). The aim is to increase the reliability and durability of pressure sensors for hydrogen technology, an area that is becoming increasingly important.

  • Efficiency Boost for Laser Cutting and Drilling at LASER CHINA

    © Photo Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Volker Lannert.  A programmable multi-beam optics with galvanometer scanner can split the laser into any number of beamlets. The resulting pattern can be changed and positioned anywhere on the workpiece.

    The Chinese market for industrial laser technology is still growing fast and so does the LASER World of PHOTONICS CHINA, which has become the most visited trade show for lasers and optical components. At this year’s trade show, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting new ideas for industrial laser applications, most of which are focused on increased efficiency of laser micro machining processes (Hall N4, Booth 4243).