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Small scale mechanical behaviour of interfaces: bridging experimental and computational modelling methods

Recent advances in fabrication processes with precise control of microstructures down to the nanometer level catalyzed the emergence of new materials with extreme mechanical performances. This requires the development of advanced experimental characterization and computational methods for the prediction of material properties at small scales.


The overall objective of this symposium is to improve our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms controlling the mechanical properties involving the strength, ductility, fracture, creep and wear resistance at small scales in advanced inorganic 3D bulk and small dimension systems with microstructures dominated by interfaces. The core questions concern the competing deformation and failure mechanisms, involving grain, twin and phase boundaries processes, dislocations/interface interactions, diffusion, shear transformation zones and shear bands in metallic glasses, cavitation and fracture or local decohesion. Special attention will be paid to the importance of rate dependent behaviour and back stresses originating from the abundance of the interfaces, the stress/strain driven formation and mobility of these interfaces, their interactions with fracture mechanisms, and the resulting size effects. Investigations dedicated to new hybrid material systems combining crystalline and amorphous metals, oxides and graphene are also welcome. Of particular interest are enhancements of mechanical properties of such systems by proper tuning of internal/external dimensions and constituents. Advanced micro/nanocharacterization methods (ex-situ and in-situ TEM and SEM micro/nanomechanical testing, residual stress measurement, aberration corrected HR(S)TEM and EELS, automated orientation, phase and nanostrain mapping in SEM and TEM, etc) as well as simulation methods on the corresponding scales (ab-initio, DD, MD, etc) will be in the core of the present symposium in order to reveal the fundamental plasticity mechanisms, the competition or synergy between these mechanisms and their impact on the macroscopic property level.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  • Advances in processing and fabrication of nanostructured materials;
  • Nano- and microscale characterization of interfaces;
  • Contributions of interface glide and migration to deformation of nanoscale structures;
  • Fundamental aspects of dislocation-interface interactions;
  • Role of interfaces in rate dependent deformation and back stress;
  • Influence of interfaces on damage and fracture;
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic size effects on mechanical properties;
  • Advances in ex-situ and in-situ micro/nanomechanical testing;
  • Advances in numerical technical methods;
  • Bridging scales: from small scale mechanics to bulk behavior.

Invited speakers

  • Daniel Kiener (University of Leoben, Austria) 
  • Erdmann Spiecker, (University of Erlangen, Germany)
  • Frédéric Mompiou (University of Toulouse, France)
  • Rebecca Janisch (University of Bochum, Germany)
  • William Curtin (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)

Scientific committee:

  • Peter Fratzl (Max Planck Institute, Germany)
  • Otmar Kolednik (Erich Schmid institute, Austria)  
  • Thomas Antretter (University of Leoben, Austria)
  • Pascal Jacques (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
  • Dominique Schryvers (University of Antwerp, Belgium)​

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Symposium organizers
Erik BITZEKFriedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Institute I, Martensstr. 5, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
Hosni IDRISSIUniversité Catholique de Louvain

IMMC, Place Sainte Barbe 2, 1348 Louvain la Neuve, Belgium

101 Rue de la Physique, BP46, 38402 St Martin d’Hères cedex, France
Roland BRUNNERMaterials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH (MCL)

Roseggerstraße 12 , 8700 Leoben, Austria