The reliability of such material systems is of major significance for the society concerning functional materials for energy conversion and storage as well as for information technology and requires state-of-the-art mechanical characterization and modelling. Materials of interest span from batteries beyond the Lithium era towards materials for fusion reactors on the one hand, and from advanced conductors to materials for sensors and actuators on the other hand.

We aim for a mechanism-based understanding of material degradation, which requires scale-bridging mechanical as well as microstructural characterization combined with advanced multi-physics modelling and data analysis. We also run KIT´s Fusion materials lab and, therefore, can handle and characterize radioactive and toxic materials.




Prof. Dr. mont.

Christoph Kirchlechner


Tel.: +49 721 608-24815


(Photo: Markus Breig, KIT)



Posterpreis Eloho© Benoit Merle
Best Poster Award

Eloho Okotete won the “Best Poster Award – First Place” at the leading conference in Nanomechanics, the ECI Nanomechanical Testing in Materials Research and Development held in Split, Croatia (October 2022). In her contribution „A geometry for quantitative analysis of interface fracture at the micron scale“ Eloho presented a new geometry for testing the toughness of interfaces at the micron scale. Congratulations!

Defense KaijuK. Lu
Next successful defense

Kaiju Lu successfully defended his dissertation "Low-cycle fatigue deformation and damage behavior of equiatomic CoCrFeMnNi and CoCrNi alloys" on November 02, 2022. The work was completed under the supervision of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jarir Aktaa. Congratulations!

Promotion F. StreichF. Streich
Successful defense

In his dissertation "NumericalModeling and Simulation of Lead-free Relaxor Ferroelectric Composites", a DFG project between the group of Prof. Kyle Webber (Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen) and IAM-MMI, Friedemann Streich developed a material law for constituent starting materials and implemented the theory in a finite element code. He succeeded in finding parameters for the starting materials that yield a composite effect in which the longitudinal large-signal piezoelectric coefficient is higher than for the starting materials. This provides important input for material developers on the way to optimized lead-free piezoceramics for actuators. Congrats!

Winners of the SOFT Innovation Prize 2022European Commission
1st SOFT Innovation Prize

A team led by Jarir Aktaa with cooperation partners from Forschungszentrum Jülich won the 1st SOFT Innovation Prize for the development of plasma-sprayed, functionally graded tungsten/EUROFER coatings for the first wall of future fusion power plants. The technology of these protective, on large areas well-bonded coatings was successfully transferred to industry with the aim of upscaling them to application-relevant sizes and shapes. The functional grading, which led to outstanding heat flux resistance, opens up potential deployment of this innovation in other components of fusion technology, in high-voltage components and in the concentrated solar power sector.

MecaNano – European Network for the Mechanics of Matter at the Nano-Scale

The "European Network for the Mechanics of Matter at the Nano-Scale" (MecaNano) has been approved as a European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) for a period of four years. The IAM-MMI will also be part of MecaNano with Christoph Kirchlechner as the German representative.

MecaNano will offer its members numerous opportunities for interaction and collaboration, e.g., through special workshops, symposia, and summer schools. It will support the geographic mobility of its participants and promote the professional development of its young researchers.

The action is open to researchers from all countries.

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Besuch FML
Visit of State Secretary Pirscher at the Fusion Materials Laboratory

On July 13, 2022, Judith Pirscher, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, together with President Holger Hanselka and Vice President Oliver Kraft, visited the IAM's fusion materials laboratory (FML) and learned on site about new materials as the key to success in fusion research, the role of fusion as an interdisciplinary technology driver, and the synergy between fusion and hydrogen technology.

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J. NaumannJ. Naumann
Post-Lithium Battery Research

At the conclave of the Cluster of Excellence Post Lithium Storage (POLiS), Johanna Naumann gave a statement on post-lithium battery research. Johanna's PhD focuses on the effects of electrode structure on the cell performance. Using numerical models, she illuminates the electrochemical processes during discharge.

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Posterprize Camila
Best Poster Award

Camila Aguiar Teixeira won the “Best Poster Award” of the Nanobrücken 2022 conference held at the Charles University (Prague). Camila presented her PhD study on slip of partial dislocations in high entropy alloys, for which she employed micro pillar compression with Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction (TKD) and STEM imaging. Parabéns!

Logo ERC
ERC Consolidator Grant to Christoph Kirchlechner

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded the prestigious Consolidator Grant to Professor Christoph Kirchlechner. His project TRITIME aims to fundamentally understand the mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement and help tailor new materials used in the distribution and storage of hydrogen.

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Zeiss Crossbeam 550
Zeiss Crossbeam 550 installed

An unique focused ion beam (FIB) microscope has been installed at our institute for the research programs “Information / P3T1”, “Materials and Technologies for Energy Transition” and “Fusion”, partly funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftungsprofessur for nanostructured functional materials.

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Time for change
IAM-WBM becomes the IAM-MMI

In the course of the restructuring of the IAM, our institute will also change its name. The IAM – Materials- and Biomechanics (IAM-WBM) will become the Institute for Applied Materials - Mechanics of Materials and Interfaces (IAM-MMI)

T. Neuhauser
Successful PhD defense

The Emmy-Noether-Group “Pulsed Metallurgy of Metallic Thin Films” announces the successful PhD defense of Tobias Neuhauser held on November 29, 2021. He explored „The effect of the heating rate on the phase selection in Al/Ni multilayers“ through a smart combination of nanocalorimetry and time-resolved X-ray diffraction. Tobias  was supervised by Dr.-Ing. Karsten Woll.

(photo: private)

SiMET Logo
Extension of the Research Training Group SiMET

After successful continuation review, the second four-and-a-half-year funding period of the Research Training Group GRK 2218 "Simulation of mechano-electro-thermal processes in lithium-ion batteries" (SiMET,, funded by the German Research Foundation, started on October 1st, 2021.

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Verena Becker
Next successful defense

Verena Becker successfully defended her PhD "Modellierung der Mechanik und der effektiven Transporteigenschaften von partikulären Kathoden sowie deren Einfluss auf die elektrochemische Performance von Lithium-Ionen-Batterien (Modeling the mechanics and effective transport properties of particulate cathodes and their influence on the electrochemical performance of lithium-ion batteries)". She did her work in the group of Marc Kamlah as a fellow of the Research Training Group GRK 2218 "Simulation of mechano-electro-thermal processes in lithium-ion batteries" (SiMET). Warm Congratulations! (Photo: private)

Oleg Birkholz
Successful PhD defense

Oleg Birkholz successfully defended his dissertation thesis "Modeling transport properties and electrochemical performance of hierarchically structured lithium-ion battery cathodes using resistor networks and mathematical half-cell models". He did this work in Marc Kamlah's group as part of the research project "Materials development of hierarchically structured composite materials for electrochemical energy storage" (HiKoMat) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BmWi). We wish all the best for the future! (Photo: private)

Zeiss Merlin
New in situ SEM arrived

We recently acquired a ZEISS Merlin, a high performance field emission scanning electron microscope. This is one of the first pieces of equipment to arrive at the institute as part of the ongoing effort to build a state-of-the-art nano/micromechanics testing facility.

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Successful completion of the BMWi project HiKoMat

The HiKoMat project, in which among others the IAM-MMI was involved with excellent contributions, has decisively contributed to a detailed understanding of the process-structure-property relationships of hierarchically structured composite materials for electrochemical energy storage.

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