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


F. SutterF. Sutter
Successful defense

On 7.12., Felix Sutter successfully defended his dissertation „Materiell nichtlineare Kontinuumsmodellierung ferroelektrischer Funktionskeramiken mit piezoelektrischen und flexoelektrischen Eigenschaften“ ("Materially nonlinear continuum modeling of ferroelectric functional ceramics with piezoelectric and flexoelectric properties"), a cooperative project with the Technical University of Munich (Prof. N. Schwesinger). The reviewers were M. Kamlah, Prof. A. Menzel (TU Dortmund) and Prof. A. Fidlin (KIT), with Prof. M. Kohl (KIT) as chairman.

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.

Felix will now continue his career in the high-tech industry. Congratulations!

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

Xufei Fang, group leader of Hydrogen Micromechanics (IAM-MMI), 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" ("Investigation of microstructure influences on the mechanical properties of nano- and microarchitectures") 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. A three-dimensional analysis of the lattice structures was carried out by in situ pressure tests in the nano X-ray tomograph.


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

Xufei Fang, group leader of Hydrogen Micromechanics (IAM-MMI) 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 upon invitiation (Oct. 2023, in 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 (IAM-MMI) 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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H. Xia defenseM. Jetter
Successful defense

Huihuang Xia successfully defended his dissertation “An improved CFD-DEM framework for gas-liquid-solid multiphase free surface flow” in July. Huihuang worked on developing numerical methods to model granular materials with the Discrete Element Method (DEM), and to model free surface flow with the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). During his research work, he a.o. developed improved numerics for the coupled level set and volume of fluid method for the description of the free surface without spurious velocities. In this way, Huihuang has contributed significantly to developing an understanding of gas-liquid-solid multiphase systems. Congrats!

Xufei FangX. Fang
New group leader at IAM-MMI

Xufei Fang joins the institute in January 2023 to lead the new group Hydrogen Micromechanics funded by the ERC Consolidator grant (TRITIME) awarded to Prof. Christoph Kirchlechner.

Together with the Fusion Materials Laboratory (FML) of IAM-MMI, he and his team will tackle the grand challenges within project TRITIME which for the first time will facilitate the isolation, observation, and quantification of individual mechanisms responsible for hydrogen embrittlement by TRITIum based microMEchanics.


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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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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