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Nanomaterials and advanced characterization


Advanced small-scale mechanical characterization: strength, plasticity, fracture and fatigue

Thin films, coatings, welds, flexible electronics, sensors and MEMS rank among the most critical components made of small volumes of materials used in a variety of applications (automotive, energy, nuclear, microelectronics, aerospace...). Ensuring their service performance and lifetime requires detailed knowledge about the small-scale mechanical behaviour of materials, which can only be gained through advanced experimental and/or simulation methods.


The small-scale mechanical characterization of materials relies upon the development and use of a wide range of highly specialized experimental and simulation techniques, aimed at investigating different mechanical aspects. Past research has mostly focused on the yield behavior of single crystalline microsized structures. Although they represent a big initial step toward a better understanding of mechanical size effects, these investigations were very limited in scope regarding both the kind of failure and the type of microsamples. The present symposium will focus on recent developments aimed at expanding our knowledge to the behavior of more complex specimens (for instance nano-objects, thin films and bulk nanostructured materials) and/or under more complex loading conditions (including cyclic fatigue, fracture testing...). To date, the most promising investigations build upon the combination of mechanical testing either with in-situ characterization methods (such as TEM, SEM, AFM, micro-XRD, synchrotron, electrical measurements) or with simulation methods (such as for instance atomistic simulations and discrete dislocation dynamics). The symposium highly welcomes such contributions, which are well suited for gaining a deep insight into the mechanisms responsible for mechanical size effects. Direct applications of these methods to solve complex engineering issues are also warmly welcomed.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  • Small-scale plasticity, fracture and fatigue testing
  • Advances in in-situ and ex-situ micro/nanomechanical testing
  • Recent advances in characterization methods, including TEM, SEM, AFM, synchrotron techniques
  • Advances in numerical technical methods
  • Complex loading situations
  • Applications to nuclear materials
  • Applications to nano-objects, thin films and bulk nanostructured materials
  • Applications to crystalline, amorphous or hybrid materials

Tentative list of invited speakers:

  • Sandra Korte-Kerzel (RWTH Aachen University, Germany)
  • David E.J. Armstrong (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
  • Jon Molina-Aldareguia (IMDEA Materials Institute, Spain)
  • Wolfgang Ludwig (INSA Lyon University of Lyon, France)
  • Jeffrey M. Wheeler (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich, Switzerland)

Tentative list of scientific committee members:

  • Thomas Pardoen (UCLouvain, Belgium)
  • Finn Giuliani (Imperial College London, U.K.)
  • Cynthia Volkert (University Göttingen, Germany)
  • Daniel Kiener (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria) 
  • Erdmann Spiecker (University Erlangen, Germany)
  • Frédéric Mompiou (CNRS Toulouse, France)
  • Rebecca Janisch (University Bochum, Germany)
  • Sandrine Brochard (University Poitiers, France)
  • Erik Bitzek (University Erlangen, Germany)
  • Marc Legros (CNRS Toulouse, France)
  • Marc Fivel (CNRS Grenoble, France)

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Symposium organizers
Ana Maria RUIZ MORENOEuropean Commission

DG Joint Research Centre, Nuclear Safety and Security Directorate, Westerduinweg 3 - 1755 LE Petten, The Netherlands

+31 224 565097
Benoit MERLE (Main)Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)

Materials Science & Engineering I, Martensstr. 5 / 3.OG – 91058 Erlangen, Germany

+49 9131 8527473
Hosni IDRISSIUniversité Catholique de Louvain

IMMC, Place Sainte Barbe 2, 1348 Louvain la Neuve, Belgium
Megan J. CORDILLErich Schmid Institute for Materials Science, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Jahnstrasse 12, Leoben 8700, Austria

+43 3842 804 102
Thomas W. CORNELIUSCNRS, IM2NP UMR 7334, Aix-Marseille Université

Faculté des Sciences, Campus St Jérome - Case 262, Avenue Escadrille Normandie Niemen, 13397 Marseille Cedex 20, France

+ 33 4 91 28 80 13