Chair for Inorganic Functional Materials
The chair "Inorganic Functional Materials" concentrates on the development of smart materials in thin film form and their applications mainly in the area of micro- and nanotechnology using cost-effective processes that are capable of mass-production. Smart materials directly transduce electrical, magnetic, or thermal energy into mechanical energy or vice versa and are therefore very attractive for the realization of micro-actuators and -sensors.
The related physical effects are the magnetostriction, the piezo effect, or the shape memory effect, respectively. Thin film fabrication processes are an attractive approach to fabricate smart materials as this technology offers easy downscaling into the Ám- or nm-range by a cost-effective manufacturing technology, is compatible to microelectronics fabrication, and allows the realization of novel materials as e.g. multilayers which show superior behavior compared to their traditional bulk counterparts. Furthermore, the combination of different smart materials allows the realization of multiferroic composites. An example is the class of magnetoelectric composites which consist of piezoelectric and magnetostrictive constituents. These materials are the basis of the SFB 855 "Magnetoelectric composites - future biomagnetic interfaces".
These small and easy-to-integrate, "intelligent" micro-actuators and -sensors are essential for a high number of application areas in automotive, information, biochemical, and medical technology.
The Kieler Nanolabor provides thin film technology, especially magnetron sputtering as well as photo lithography and etching processes for the fabrication of the materials and the devices. Special equipment has been set-up for the characterization of the physical effects and the functional properties of the devices.
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