SFB 986: Tailor-Made Multi-Scale Materials Systems - M3
The particular innovative potential of the Collaborative Research Centre is its ability to develop macroscopic materials - structured in a multi-scale way, designed "on the drawing board". Owing to their design, such materials will have tailor-made mechanical, electrical and photonic properties. Predominantly, the materials are assembled from single building blocks of distinct discrete length scales. This hierarchical composition opens up possibilities to exchange building units in a concerted way in order to discretely alter materials properties and, thus, to achieve entirely new materials functions. In addition to the required experimental methods and based on their results, theoretical materials models are refined. Hence, the Collaborative Research Centre not only gains experimental expertise but also a theoretical understanding of how a hierarchical composition determines materials behaviour. To this end, theoretical modelling includes atomistic, meso-scale and continuum models. For the hierarchical structures, the single building blocks are comprised of polymers, ceramics, metals and carbon (in form of carbon nanotubes and aerographites). Those assemble and form structured and functionalised units from the atom to the macro-scale, their form being core-shell structures or cavities filled with polymers. The three project areas of the Collaborative Research Centre use different materials systems and vary both the multi-scale structure and the functionalised properties: area A is concerned with quasi-self-similar structures with multi-functional properties; area B aims at integrated nano-structured multi-phase materials systems, which - due to the design of their microstructure - combine strength and functional properties (in particular, electrical ones); area C focusses on highly ordered, hierarchical, periodic and aperiodic structures and their photonic properties at high temperatures. One question unites all three project areas: How can we influence and control the macroscopic mechanical, electrical and photonic properties of materials by shaping their hierarchical composition? By answering this question, the Collaborative Research Centre can develop hierarchical materials with tailor-made properties in a systematic way.