Here are some of my research interests. You find more on our department website at the Max-Planck Institut für Eisenforschung.
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Metals & Metallurgical Research

Metallic materials carry human civilization more than 5000 years, lending even entire ages their name. With a global market of 3500 billion € per year and a daily turnover of 3.5 Billion € in the EU alone materials are key drivers in economy (World Trade Organisation, Optimat Materials Landscaping Study).

The accelerated demand for both, load-bearing and functional materials in key sectors such as energy, sustainability, construction, health, communication, infrastructure, safety and transportation is resulting in predicted production growth rates of up to 200 per cent until 2050 for many material classes.

‘Materials’ are a specific type of matter that is finally used for something, be it a product or process. Therefore materials science has generally both a basic and an applied facet. Nowadays, after virtually thousands of years of development, we still use only about 1000 different types of metallic alloys out of a sheer infinite combinatorial space of about 1060 possible combinations when considering only the 50-60 frequently used elements. This means that we only stand at the beginning of basic research of metals.

These boundary conditions require not only to better understand the fundamental relationships between synthesis, manufacturing, basic mechanisms, microstructure and properties but also to discover novel materials that meet both, advanced application challenges under harsh environments.

Currently several developments are revolutionizing materials research. The first one is the availability of models and artificial intelligence methods with predictive capability such as provided by density functional theory, advanced quasi-particle and continuum simulation methods, computational alloy thermodynamics as well as big data driven tools fueled by machine learning approaches. The second one is the availability and correlative use of high resolution characterization tools such as corrected electron microscopes, atom probe tomography, synchrotron and neutron imaging. The third one is materials synthesis, which stretches nowadays from efficient chemical processing of nanoparticles, thin film synthesis, artchitectured materials, combinatorial casting to additive manufacturing providing fast and flexible routes for materials fabrication. 

These enabling techniques meet latest developments in industry and society such as the need for improved sustainability of materials and their manufacturing value chains (e.g. synthesis of alloys and polymers with greenhouse gas emissions); revolutionized drive trains in the transportation sector, i.e the transition from fossile to electrical propelling systems and the way how we provide and store energy.

All these techniques and recent developments enable us to solve some of the most essential challenges in the fields of mobility, energy, infrastructure, medicine and safety

Along these topics my group works on key fields of highest relevance for society and manufacturing. Examples relate to the following fields:

- Energy (e.g., materials for a hydrogen-propelled industry, hydrogen-tolerant structural alloys, catalysis materials, high temperature alloys, semiconducting materials for photovoltaics and photo-electrochemistry, fuel cell components, materials for direct solar-thermic components)
- Mobility (e.g., ductile magnesium, steels and magnets for light weight electrical and hybrid vehicles)
- Infrastructure (e.g., high strength and corrosion-resistant alloys for infrastructures, such as wind turbines and chemical infrastructures)
- Medicine & health (e.g., biomedical tribology, compliant implant alloys)
- Safety (e.g., high toughness alloys, cryogenic alloys, coatings and thin film materials, hydrogen tolerant materials).


About 70% of all innovations in Europe are associated with progress in the fields of materials science and engineering. The global market for materials is 3500 billion € per year. About 70% of all innovations in Europe are associated with progress in the fields of materials science and engineering. The global market for materials is 3500 billion € per year.

Some recent papers

A mechanically strong and ductile soft magnet with extremely low coercivity
Han, L., Maccari, F., Souza Filho, I.R. et al. A mechanically strong and ductile soft magnet with extremely low coercivity. Nature 608, 310–316 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04935-3
2022 Nature A mechanically strong and du[...]
PDF-Dokument [14.0 MB]

Toward the design of ultrahigh-entropy alloys via mining six million texts


It has long been a norm that researchers extract knowledge from literature to design materials. However, the avalanche of publications makes the norm challenging to follow. Text mining (TM) is efficient in extracting information from corpora. Still, it cannot discover materials not present in the corpora, hindering its broader applications in exploring novel materials, such as high-entropy alloys (HEAs). Here we introduce a concept of “context similarity" for selecting chemical elements for HEAs, based on TM models that analyze the abstracts of 6.4 million papers. The method captures the similarity of chemical elements in the context used by scientists. It overcomes the limitations of TM and identifies the Cantor and Senkov HEAs. We demonstrate its screening capability for six- and seven-component lightweight HEAs by finding nearly 500 promising alloys out of 2.6 million candidates. The method thus brings an approach to the development of ultrahigh-entropy alloys and multicomponent materials.

Ultrahigh Entropy Alloys discovered from Text Mining
PDF-Dokument [2.2 MB]
Strategies for improving the sustainability of structural metals
Raabe et al Nature Nov 2019 Sustainabili[...]
PDF-Dokument [2.2 MB]
Chemical heterogeneity enhances hydrogen resistance in high-strength steels
Nature Materials
PDF-Dokument [2.7 MB]
High-strength Damascus steel by additive manufacturing
Nature | Vol 582 | 25 June 2020
Nanosteel-composite high-strength Damasc[...]
PDF-Dokument [5.2 MB]
The hidden structure dependence of the chemical life of dislocations
Science Advances
Science Advances 2021 The hidden structu[...]
PDF-Dokument [840.7 KB]
Advanced High-Strength Steels
PDF-Dokument [28.0 MB]
High- entropy alloys
Nature Review Materials
Nature Materials Reviews Aug 2019 High-e[...]
PDF-Dokument [2.4 MB]
Steels in additive manufacturing
MSE 2019 Steels in additive manufacturin[...]
PDF-Dokument [7.7 MB]
Engineering atomic-level complexity in high-entropy and complex concentrated alloys
NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | (2019) 10:2090 | https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10012-7 | www.nature.com/naturecommunications
PDF-Dokument [1.5 MB]
DAMASK – The Düsseldorf Advanced Material Simulation Kit for modeling multi-physics crystal plasticity, thermal, and damage phenomena from the single crystal up to the component scale
Computational Materials Science
Volume 158, 15 February 2019, Pages 420-478
DAMASK – Duesseldorf Advanced Material S[...]
PDF-Dokument [10.5 MB]
Enhanced strength and ductility in a high-entropy alloy via ordered oxygen complexes
Nature (November 2018)
Nature 2018 strength ductility high-entr[...]
PDF-Dokument [8.2 MB]
Bidirectional Transformation Enables Hierarchical Nanolaminate Dual-Phase High-Entropy Alloys
Advanced Materials 2018, 1804727
Bidirectional TRIP effect in High Entrop[...]
PDF-Dokument [5.4 MB]
Sodium enhances indium-gallium interdiffusion in copper indium gallium diselenide photovoltaic absorbers
Nature Com 2018 interdiffusion in photov[...]
PDF-Dokument [5.6 MB]
Strain-Induced Asymmetric Line Segregation at Faceted Si Grain Boundaries
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 121, 015702 (2018)
Strain-Induced Asymmetric Line Segregati[...]
PDF-Dokument [1.9 MB]
Linear Complexions: Confined Chemical and Structural States at Dislocations
SCIENCE vol 349: p. 1080, Sept 2015
Dislocations Linear Complexions Science [...]
PDF-Dokument [1.6 MB]
Atomic-scale insights into surface species of electrocatalysts in three dimensions
Nature Catalysis (2018) doi:10.1038/s41929-018-0043-3
Nature Catalysis 2018 - Atomic-scale ins[...]
PDF-Dokument [2.0 MB]
Phase nucleation through confined spinodal fluctuations at crystal defects evidenced in Fe-Mn alloys
Nature Communications
Silva_et_al-2018-Nature_Communications S[...]
PDF-Dokument [2.7 MB]
Ultrastrong steel via minimal lattice misfit and high-density nanoprecipitation
Nature 544, 460–464 (27 April 2017)
Ultrastrong steel via minimal lattice mi[...]
PDF-Dokument [6.2 MB]
Metastable high-entropy dual-phase alloys overcome the strength–ductility trade-off
NATURE | 9 JUNE 2016 | VOL 534 | page 227
Li et al Nature June 2016 Metastable hig[...]
PDF-Dokument [6.0 MB]
Bone-like crack resistance in hierarchical metastable nanolaminate steels
Science 355 (6329), 1055-1057 (10. March 2017)
Koyama Bone-like Steels Science 355 (201[...]
PDF-Dokument [745.8 KB]
Superplasticity in a lean Fe-Mn-Al steel
NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | 8: 751 | DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00814-y |
Han_et_al-2017-Nature_Communications Sup[...]
PDF-Dokument [1.1 MB]
A rare-earth free magnesium alloy with improved intrinsic ductility
Scientific Reports 7: 10458 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-10384-0
Ductile Magnesium Calcium Aluminium Scie[...]
PDF-Dokument [2.8 MB]
Hydrogen enhances strength and ductility of an equiatomic high entropy alloy
Scientific Reports 7: 9892 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-10774-4
Luo et al 2017 Sci Rep Hydrogen strength[...]
PDF-Dokument [2.5 MB]
Complexion-mediated martensitic phasetransformation in Titanium
NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | 8:14210 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14210 |www.nature.com/naturecommunications
PDF-Dokument [6.2 MB]
Core-shell nanoparticle arrays double the strength of steel
Scientific Reports 7:42547 (2017)
Scientific Reports 7 - 42547 Core-shell [...]
PDF-Dokument [2.2 MB]
Atomic-Scale Quantification of Grain Boundary Segregation in Nanocrystalline Material
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 112, 126103 (2014)
Phys Rev Lett. 2014 grain boundary segre[...]
PDF-Dokument [842.8 KB]

More publications:


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Plasticity experts: You are invited to download and use


DAMASK — the Düsseldorf Advanced Material Simulation Kit

The solution of a continuum mechanical boundary value problem requires a constitutive response that connects deformation and stress at each material point. Such connection can be regarded as three sep
PDF-Dokument [1.4 MB]
DAMASK – The Düsseldorf Advanced Material Simulation Kit for modeling multi-physics crystal plasticity, thermal, and damage phenomena from the single crystal up to the component scale DAMASK – The Düsseldorf Advanced Material Simulation Kit for modeling multi-physics crystal plasticity, thermal, and damage phenomena from the single crystal up to the component scale.
microstructure, TWIP steel, twinning, twins, EBSD, ECCI, steel, alloy design, mechanical properties, tensile test Microstructure scales in TWIP steel (Acta Materialia 59 (2011) 6449)