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Materials Science - Tailor-made Materials

Materials ScienceEach material has its own specific character: its electrical and magnetic properties, its resistance against mechanical strain, its chemical behaviour, its surface quality, its "memory" distinguish it. If you are in a position to influence the nature of a working material purposefully, quite new paths are open for you.

To go down these paths making use of cross-subject synergisms, engineers and natural scientists of the Ruhr-Universität came together for the interdisciplinary material forum in 1997. Their joint focal points of research include materials and mechanical properties, thin layers and surfaces, nanostructures and nanomaterials as well as surface chemistry.

From this interdisciplinary material science research platform, amongst other things, five special research areas and the international Max Planck Research School for Surface and Interface Engineering in Advanced Materials (IMPRS SurMat) have developed in the meantime. The foundation of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Materials Simulation (ICAMS) has further reinforced material research at the RUB.

The members' working fields are, for example, in shape memory research, in electronics, in the area of materials for energy conversion and storage and also in catalysis. Metals with memory ability are used in space travel, medicinal engineering and automobile construction. Tailor-made surfaces improve the catalytic properties of materials or their bio-tolerability. In new materials, the researchers put electrons out of balance and thus make semi-conductors more capable. Material researchers and geo-scientists are working together on understanding the movement processes of the earth's layers better.

Since 2009, the Materials Research Department (MRD, formerly "Integrity of Small-Scale Systems IS³/High-Temperature Materials HTM") has formed the platform for the interdisciplinary material research at the RUB. Currently, the members of the MRD are working on a new focal point of research for combinatory material research. They wish to develop a new scientific mode of procedure for invention of new materials with properties unattained as yet. Results from material research are presented to the public annually within the framework of the "Day of Material Science" as well as in a newsletter.