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





Jana Herzog


Tel: +49 721 608-24816

jana herzog∂kit edu


Markus ShortM. Short
Another successful defense

Markus Short successfully completed his doctoral thesis “Experimental and Theoretical Developments on Accurately Measuring and Modeling Grain Boundary Diffusion in Solids” with the defense on April 11. Congratulations!

L.SpataforaL. Spatafora
The next successful defense

On April 19, Luigi Spatafora successfully defended his dissertation "Entwicklung eines Metall-Keramik-Verbundes für thermo-mechanisch hochbelastbare Sichtfenster", a project of the Institute for Applied Informatics (IAI), which was co-supervised by the IAM-MMI in materials science. Congratulations!

Xufei Fang starts his ERC Starting Grant at IAM-MMI

Xufei Fang started his ERC Starting Grant awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) at IAM-MMI on April 01, 2024.

His project MECERDIS (funding period 2023.04 to 2028.03) aims to fundamentally understand the mechanisms of dislocations in ceramics and help tailor new functional ceramic materials.

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SWR Aktuell visits the FML

On February 22, SWR filmed short interviews with Dr. Klaus Hesch, spokesperson for the FUSION program, and Prof. Dr. Christoph Kirchlechner in the Fusion Materials Laboratory and captured a few impressions of both the work on hot cells and the glove boxes.

Fusion research in the state was to provide a framework for a report on the SWR Aktuell Baden-Württemberg program about the Bundestag debate on funding for fusion research on February 23.

The program is available in the ARD media library.

Link to ARD-Mediathek (German only)
P. Olschowski am FMLM.Breig, KIT
State Science Minister Petra Olschowski at the fusion material laboratory

Petra Olschowski, Minister of Science, Research and the Arts in Baden-Württemberg, visited the IAM-MMI's Fusion Materials Laboratory on February 13, together with Dr. Ronny Feuer, Head of the Department for Mobility, Energy, Aerospace, Industry 4.0 and Alexander Salomon, Member of the Karlsruhe State Parliament.

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F. SutterF. Sutter
Successful defense

On 7.12., Felix Sutter successfully defended his dissertation „Materiell nichtlineare Kontinuumsmodellierung ferroelektrischer Funktionskeramiken mit piezoelektrischen und flexoelektrischen Eigenschaften“, a cooperative project with the Technical University of Munich (Prof. N. Schwesinger).

The subject of the work funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) was the modeling and simulation of ferroelectric piezoelectric materials with special consideration of flexoelectricity.


Xufei Fang receives Athene Award for Good Teaching Klaus Mai
Athene Award for Good Teaching 2023

Xufei Fang, Athene Young Investigator and ERC Starting Grant group leader in the Ceramics Division at TU Darmstadt, receives this year's Athene-Preis für Gute Lehre (Athene Award for Good Teaching).

The jury's statement emphasizes “his excellent didactic skills, his outstanding commitment and motivation for teaching and students and his patient and cheerful manner”. The prize is endowed with 2000 € from the Carlo und Karin Giersch-Stiftung at TU Darmstadt.

Congratulations to Xufei – a well deserved honour.

read more at TU Darmstadt
Verteidigung Chantal KurpiersC. Kurpiers
Further successful defense

On 27.10., Chantal Kurpiers successfully defended her dissertation "Untersuchung der Mikrostruktureinflüsse auf die mechanischen Eigenschaften von Nano- und Mikroarchitekturen" in which she investigated the properties of mechanical metamaterials as part of the Cluster of Excellence "3D Matter Made To Order". Together with her supervisors Prof. P. Gumbsch (KIT) and Prof. R. Schwaiger (FZ Jülich), she determined a.o. the effects of the pressure parameters and the post-treatment parameters of pyrolysis on the mechanical behavior of nano- and microarchitectures.


Xufei Fang announced as inaugural JACerS 2nd Century Trailblazer awardeeACerS
Inaugural JACerS 2nd Century Trailblazer awardee

Xufei Fang receives the award of the inaugural 2nd Century Trailblazer with his open-access article “Mechanical tailoring of dislocations in ceramics at room temperature: A perspective”.

Finally, Xufei Fang presented his work during the Journal of the American Ceramic Society Awards Symposium at ACerS Annual Meeting at MS&T (Oct. 2023, Columbus, Ohio).

Congratulations to Xufei for this internationally highly visible and prestigious award.

read more at ACerS
Subin LeeS. Lee, KIT
Helmholtz Funding

Subin Lee successfully obtained funding through the Helmholtz Imaging Projects for his project in the field of imaging and data science. This collaborative initiative, led by Prof. Christoph Kirchlechner and Prof. Stefan Sandfeld (Forschungszentrum Jülich, IAS-9), aims to advance the comprehension of the degradation mechanisms affecting functional materials. The project will be achieved by integrating advanced electron microscope imaging techniques with deep learning (DL). Congrats!

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U. BansalU. Bansal, KIT
Humboldt Fellowship

Ujjval Bansal, postdoctoral researcher at the IAM-MMI, was awarded with a prestigious two-year funding Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Fellowship in collaboration with Dr. Subin Lee, Prof. Dr. Christoph Kirchlechner, and Prof. Dr. Yolita Eggler.

Congratulations to Ujjval on this prestigous recognition and grant award!

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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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