Welcome to GRK 1896 "In-Situ Microscopy with Electrons, X-rays and Scanning Probes"

Project Overview

Research into innovative nanostructured materials is of fundamental importance for Germany's technological competitiveness and in addressing global challenges, like the development of renewable energy sources. Nanostructured materials are controlled by size and interfaces, which give rise to enhanced mechanical properties and new physical effects leading in turn to new functionalities. The design of novel nanostructured materials and devices such as flexible electronics demands state-of-the-art nanocharacterization tools. In particular, methods based on short-wave radiation (electrons, X-rays/neutrons) or scanning probes are ideally suited to analyze materials at the nanometer and atomic scale. Recently developed in situ capabilities and the use of complementary characterization methods allow unique insights into the structure formation, functionality and deformation behavior of complex nanostructures. These new in situ techniques will be the future key tools for the development of new materials and devices.

The doctoral program in situ microscopy with electrons, X-rays and scanning probe techniques combines, for the first time, these three pillars of nanocharacterization into a structured Research Training Group. The main objective of this program is to provide the next generation of scientists and engineers with comprehensive, method-spanning and interdisciplinary training in the application of cutting-edge nanocharacterization tools to materials and device development. Within the program, the in situ methods will be further developed and used to address fundamental questions regarding the growth, stability and functionality of complex nanostructures and interfaces. Project area A: Functional Nanostructures and Networks will address the properties of individual nano-objects and how these translate into functionality when assembled to nano-networks. In Project area B: Mechanical Properties of Interfaces various kinds of interfaces with different bonding characteristics and morphologies will be studied in well-defined loading scenarios. This parallel, complementary study of both functional and mechanical materials properties over several length scales by multiple in situ methods is unprecedented. Our PhD candidates will be well-positioned in a network of international collaborations and highly trained in multiple, complementary techniques, providing them with an essential foundation for a successful career in the field of advanced materials and devices development.