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Two new Collaborative Research Centres

FAU receives €10.6 million for research into carbon for high-performance applications and resilient alloys for use in the energy industry

Scientists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) are celebrating a major success: Erlangen is to become home to two of the eight Collaborative Research Centres (SFB) which the German Research Foundation (DFG) is setting up as of 1 January 2012. The new SFB 953 “Synthetic carbon allotropes” will receive around €3.7 million and Dr. Andreas Hirsch from the Department for Organic Chemistry II will be the SFB’s spokesperson. The SFB/Transregio 103 “From atom to turbine blade – scientific foundations for a new generation of monocrystalline superalloys” is to be endowed with €12.8 million – €5.6 million of which is destined for Erlangen. Prof. Dr. Robert. F. Singer is coordinator at the FAU and head of the Department for Materials Science (Materials and Metal Technology). Funding is initially intended for a period of four years. The DFG is investing a total of approx. €82.7 million into new Collaborative Research Centres.

Carbon for high-performance applications
Carbon exists in a variety of different forms and its properties differ greatly from one to another. Prime examples of this are extremely hard, transparent diamond and softer, shiny metallic graphite. These variations are referred to as the allotropic forms of carbon and they owe their different properties to the composition of chemical bonds between the carbon atoms. Synthetic carbon allotropes such as carbon nanotubes and graphenes currently belong to the most promising category of materials and exhibit enormous potential for high-performance applications. At the same time they are also ideal model systems for research into a wide range of fundamental chemical and physical questions, such as research into charge transport in restricted areas and the extent to which the bonding and releasing of molecules is dependent on form and charge. It is precisely these questions which SFB 953 “Synthetic carbon allotropes” aims to address by means of the interdisciplinary cooperation of chemists, physicists, engineers and theoreticians.

Environmentally-friendly electricity generation using exceptionally resilient alloys
Monocrystalline superalloys are key materials for turbine blades in the modern gas turbines used in aerospace technology and energy supply. It is for this reason that they are just as indispensable for the mobility of modern society as they are for its sustainable supply of electricity. In gas turbines it is only possible to achieve a higher level of efficiency with fewer pollutant emissions via a new monocrystalline technology – and this is to be at the core of the research carried out in Transregio 103 “From atom to turbine blade – scientific foundations for a new generation of monocrystalline superalloys”. To this end, the SFB/Transregio is bringing together scientists from the fields of materials science and engineering, solid state physics and chemistry, multiscale materials modelling and production engineering. The FAU’s partners include Universität Bochum, which is also assuming coordinating duties, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the Jülich Research Centre and the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research.

Further information for the media:

Prof. Dr. Andreas Hirsch
Tel.: 09131/85-22537
andreas.hirsch@chemie.uni-erlangen.de