Defects with potential: high-profile European research funding for Freiberg’s scientists

Diagramme, die das Forschungsprojekt veranschaulichen
Stefan Sandfeld, Professor for Micromechanical Materials Modelling at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, was awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) for his project "A Multiscale Dislocation Language for Data-Driven Materials Science" (MuDiLingo) with an ERC Starting Grant worth 1.5 Million Euros.

What‘s going on with those defects?

Defects in the structure of crystalline materials (such as metals or semiconductors) are responsible for a multitude of mechanical, optical and electronic properties. Despite the fact that the word “defect“ is generally associated with negative properties, it is in particular the dislocations, line-like defects, that strongly influence the material behaviour on the micro and nanoscale. This is an important design element for the next generation of materials with novel mechanical properties.

What is the concrete scientific question?

For nearly a century, materials scientists have been seeking to understand how dislocation systems evolve. In-situ microscopy nowadays reveals complex dislocation networks in great detail. However, currently there is no sufficiently versatile and general methodology for extracting informations from different microscopy or simulation methods, for direct comparison of data or for statistical analysis by means of „Big Data“ methods. Thus, a big amount of data can still not be used.

What is the project vision?

The vision of MuDiLingo is to develop and establish for the first time a Unifying Multiscale Language of Dislocation Microstructures. Bearing analogy to audio data conversion into MP3, this description of dislocations uses statistical methods to determine data compression while preserving the relevant physics. Together with pattern recognition strategies and machine learning it allows for a completely new type of high-throughput data mining and analysis on different length scales. Prof. Stefan Sandfeld: „I expect that these revolutionary methods for technologically relevant materials will yield answers to fundamental materials scientific questions. This will ultimately guide us towards design of superior structural and functional materials.“

Personal details

Prof. Stefan Sandfeld obtained a civil engineering diploma degree in 2003 from the University of Applied Sciences, Köln, and a MSc degree in Computational Mechanics of Materials and Structures“ from the University of Stuttgart in 2005. He got his PhD in 2010 from The University of Edinburgh under supervision of Prof. Zaiser in the field of materials science. This was followed by a PostDoc at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Applied Materials in the group of Prof. Gumbsch and a guest stay as visiting scientist at the Florida State University, Department of Scientific Computing in the group of Prof.. El-Azab. From 2012-2016 Prof. Sandfeld was ‚akademischer Rat‘ and deputy head of institute at the Institute of Materials Simulation, Prof. Zaiser, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen.

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Stefan Sandfeld, Tel. -4138, stefan [dot] sandfeldatmimm-tubaf [dot] de