RTG - Integrated Research Training Group

Project Leader(s)

  • Benjamin Berkels


The proposed CRC puts a strong emphasis on the education of highly qualified scientists and researchers in the field of materials science. At the heart of the research projects of the CRC lie the joint efforts of researchers using advanced computational and experimental tools and their ambition to combine the results of both worlds to gain mechanistical understanding and establish a new framework of defects and their stability as a basis for future materials design. In this context, PIs and particularly the young researchers among the PIs, post-docs and doctoral students, as well as the student researchers and technical staff involved in the CRC, face the challenge and chance to learn as much as possible about the methods and concepts brought into this CRC.

With this in mind, the training group will draw on blocked courses as its main medium (e.g. 2-3 day lecture series) as well as an annual summer school and form the central platform for the direct exchange of research methods, activities and ideas between all PIs and students involved and eminent international researchers outside the CRC. The main activities of the planes RTG will be

  • Impartment of knowledge and subject related key skills, such as experimental and theoretical concepts and methods relevant to many projects
  • Introduction to international research collaborations (visiting/guest programme)
  • Impartment of "soft skills", e.g. presentation skills, project management, team work
  • work Networking of doctoral researchers of different disciplines to promote knowledge transfer and networking (in collaboration with the Center for Doctoral Studies (CDS) and Centre for Professional Leadership at RWTH Aachen University)

S - Service Project Synthesis - Synthesis of Solid Solution and Intermetallic Materials

Project Leader(s)

  • Hauke Springer


This project is a central service project assigned to the supply of bulk solid solution, composites and intermetallic samples for the whole CRC. The project is headed by Prof. Dr. Springer, but will run as a cooperative project between the MPIE and RWTH Aachen University. The aim is to not only supply high purity and high quality samples for the whole CRC, but also to transfer knowledge regarding the complex synthesis techniques in between the MPIE and the RWTH Aachen University. Of particular importance is the purity of phases and compositions to achieve the targeted chemical-structural complexity in the samples. Heat treatments and thermo-mechanical treatments of the cast samples is in many cases crucial to achieve on the one hand a homogeneous microstructure (in terms of structure and chemistry) and on the other hand to produce intermetallic materials with grain sizes large enough for micro-mechanical testing and characterization of single crystalline micro-pillars.


This service project aims at providing samples to the sub-projects A01 (solid solution), A03 (solid solution and intermetallic), A05 (intermetallic), B01 (multiphase), B05 (solid solution and intermetallic), B07 (solid solution and intermetallic), B06 (intermetallic), C01 (multiphase), C02 (multiphase), C03 (multiphase). As this project is a pure service project, no scientific research questions related to the overall goals of the CRC are aimed at here.


The solid solution, multiphase and intermetallic Mg-Al-Ca alloys will be prepared by melting and casting of high purity raw materials under Ar pressure owing to the high vapor pressure of Mg and Ca. If necessary, the brittle intermetallic materials will be subjected to defined solidification kinetics to avoid fracture. The as-cast blocks needs to be processed by thermo-mechanical processing, such as hot rolling, homogenization annealing and recrystallization annealing, to adjust a homogeneous microstructure and composition. The according treatments have to be selected with respect to the respective (global) phase diagrams to avoid the precipitation of unattended second phases in these samples.