PhD student for “Micromechanical investigation at variable temperature of an Fe-Al intermetallic” (f/m/div)

Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
January 01, 2023
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The mission of the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung is to understand and design nanostructured materials down to atomic and electronic scales. In this spirit, we conduct basic research on structural and functional materials, mostly metallic alloys, embracing synthesis and processing, characterization and properties, as well as their response in engineering components exposed to real environmental conditions. We work interdisciplinary, with intense mutual stimulation among experimentalists and theoreticians as well as among different groups and departments.

The Department of Structure and Nano-/ Micromechanics of Materials aims at understanding the interplay of microstructure and mechanical behavior with a focus on small length scales. The knowledge is used to design metallic and intermetallic materials as well as thin film structures with improved performance and lifetime. Within a DFG-funded project we are looking for a

PhD student for “Micromechanical investigation at variable temperature of an

Fe-Al intermetallic” (f/m/div)

The topic is part of the project “Revealing the causes of the unusual mechanical behavior of B2 FeAl compounds”, which is a collaboration between the Institute for Applied Materials, KIT and Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung. The FeAl intermetallic compound shows a very unusual dependence of mechanical properties on composition with an abrupt, strong increase of yield strength, hardness and brittle-to-ductile transition temperature in the middle of the homogeneity range. This phenomenon is not understood and there is a variety of interdependent, difficult-to-control materials parameters. The successful candidate will harness a novel experimental approach applying micromechanical testing of diffusion couples to reveal the fundamentals of this behavior.

Your tasks

You will work at MPIE in a collaborative project in the two groups on Intermetallic Materials and on Nano-/Micromechanics of Materials. Your tasks will be

  • the metallographic preparation of Fe-Al diffusion couples including heat treatments
  • the microstructural and microchemical characterization of the diffusion couples by SEM and EPMA
  • the preparation of micropillars by FIB
  • to perform scratch, nanohardness, and micropillar compression tests as function of composition and annealing state using state-of-the-art nanomechanical testing equipment, including at elevated temperatures
  • to evaluate, analyse and interpret the results
  • manage the collaborative project between MPIE and KIT
  • publish scientific results in international research journals and scientific conferences
  • Your profile

    You have a Master's degree with very good to excellent marks in Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering or a related field and you would like to work on challenging problems in materials science. Applied experience in materials science is strongly suggested. The work requires a high level of experimental skills and analytical mind set for interpreting the measured data. Through your studies, you acquired in- depth knowledge of mechanics of materials and preferably some knowledge about deformation processes in metals at the micro- and nanoscales. Having previous experience with experimental mechanical/material science testing (ex situ or in situ) and electron microscopy is advantageous. A high degree of self-motivation and the ability to work and collaborate in an international team, as well as excellent oral and written communication skills are expected. The working language at our institute is English; sufficient proficiency in English to communicate effectively on scientific topics is required.

    What we offer

    We offer an exciting, dynamic and stimulating research environment with high- level experts and access to cutting-edge research equipment in one of the world-leading institutions for basic research in materials science. You will benefit from the department and institute's excellent access to cutting-edge experimental infrastructure (SEM, TEM, FIB, in situ nanoindentation, APT etc.) and intellectual resources, along with plenty of possibilities for personal and professional development in a highly interdisciplinary environment. The project work is funded for three years and serves as preparation for your PhD. The salary is according to TVöD, depending on qualification.

    The Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH is committed to employing more handicapped individuals and especially encourages them to apply. The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds.

    Contact persons:

    Dr. Frank Stein (stein@mpie.de) & Dr. James P. Best (j.best@mpie.de) Department of Structure and Nano-/Micromechanics of Materials, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Max-Planck-Straße 1, 40237 Düsseldorf, Germany

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