The Institute of Materials Science of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg is specialised on the development, synthesis and characterisation of metallic and ceramic materials. The main driving force behind the research is to understand the connection between the microstructure and the corresponding microscopic and macroscopic physical properties which result from the microstructure. Of course, the fields of possible application of new or optimised materials is also of interest.  

A main field of materials design dealt with are nanostructured materials and/or metastable phases, which have favourable physical properties due to their specific microstructure. However, the synthesis of these materials requires special methods to design such nano-structures. Among those nano-scaled processes are decomposition processes, tailored incorporation of microstructure defects, triggering of customised phase transitions and creation of crystallographic epitaxy effects.
As synthesis methods, which allow a high degree of flexibility for a wide range of synthesis routes, mainly field-assisted sintering (FAST/SPS) and layer-deposition methods (PVD/ECD) are used. 

Synthesised materials are typically analysed and characterised on a couple of length-scales. The main competence of the Institute regarding materials analysis thereby lies in X-ray diffraction methods, transmission electron microscopy and the scanning electron microscopy including EBSD. Additionally, a broad range of additional methods is available to analyse the chemical composition or physical properties of those materials.

This field of research is complemented by intensive practical and theoretical work in the field of thermodynamics. This research complex acts on one hand as own research unit but on the other hand also in assistance to the research groups focussing on structural properties of materials.

The combination of those materials development and materials analysis methods allows to extract a full description of its properties and application possibilities. For this reason, the Institute of Materials Science significantly contributes to the field of basic research in the area of materials science with the major goal to optimise the industrial application of materials through the deep understanding of the microstructure of the material and its physical properties.