Material Science and Nanotechnology

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The paramount impact of materials on man’s life and history can be recognized by the fact that entire ages (stone, bronze, iron) have been named after the dominating material.

The understanding of functional properties of materials is essential for their continuous development and improvement. Facing energy and environmental challenges, industrial companies more than ever have strongly invested in materials development. By using synchrotron radiation, information about materials structure and properties on different length scales extending from nano- to macroscopic dimensions can be obtained non-destructively.

Some examples of commonly techniques for material characterization are diffraction, small-angle scattering and tomography methods. The application of these techniques paves the way for a deeper understanding not only of the structure of materials but also of the associated mechanical, thermal, electrical and optical properties.

DESY offers companies within the Material Science and Nanotechnology access to experimental techniques at DESY Photon Science synchrotron facilities applicable to a range of problems including:

  • Nano-particles characterisation (self-assembly of nanoparticles, large clusters)

  • Residual stress and strain analysis

  • Chemical and phase analysis in novel materials

  • Functionality of applied materials

  • Coatings and thin films characterisation

  • Earth science and related materials

  • Crystallography

  • Tomography for 3D characterisation

  • Investigation of catalysis processes

Example 1: Residual stress and strain analysis

Almost all technical components have some level of residual stresses (RS). In simple definition, these are the mechanical stresses that exist in a structure in the absence of external loads. The origins are usually connected with the product manufacturing, for example the forming and joining processes, surface treatments and layers depositions.
Under service conditions, these RS are superposed by the external loads and influence the component lifetime. Therefore, the tailoring of the RS state within technical parts during the manufacturing processes is often necessary, known as “residual stress-engineering”.

We offer the possibility of measuring the residual stress state in a non-destructive way by means of synchrotron diffraction techniques. This technique is well suitable for surface and local analysis.