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Cooling, light-Transmissive, and glare-Free: the new material combines several unique properties.Gan Huang, KIT
Innovative Material for Sustainable Building

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) introduce a polymer-based material with unique properties in the latest issue of the journal Nature Communications. This material allows sunlight to enter, maintains a more comfortable indoor climate without additional energy, and cleans itself like a lotus leaf. The new development could replace glass components in walls and roofs in the future. The research team has successfully tested the material in outdoor tests on the KIT campus.

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Cathode layer consisting of spherical particles and simulation of the sodium fraction.Simon Daubner, KIT
Batteries: Modeling Tomorrow’s Materials Today

Which factors determine how quickly a battery can be charged? This and other questions are studied by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with the help of computer-based simulations. Microstructural models help to discover and investigate new electrode materials. When sodium-nickel-manganese oxide is used as cathode material in sodium-ion batteries, simulations reveal modifications of the crystal structure during charging. These modifications lead to an elastic deformation, as a result of which capacity decreases.

npj Computational Materials
Predicting maximum strain hardening factor in elongational flow of branched pom-pom polymers from polymer architecture

We present a model-driven predictive scheme for the uniaxial extensional viscosity and strain hardening of branched polymer melts, specifically for the pom-pom architecture, using the small amplitude oscillatory shear mastercurve and the polymer architecture. A pom-pom shaped polymer is the simplest architecture with at least two branching points, needed to induce strain hardening. It consists of two stars, each with q arms of the molecular weight Mw,a, connected by a backbone of Mw,b.


Nature Communications
Xufei Fang starts his ERC Starting Grant at the IAM-MMI

On April 1, 2024, Xufei Fang started his ERC Starting Grant awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) at the IAM-MMI.
His project MECERDIS aims to fundamentally understand the mechanisms of dislocations in ceramics and help tailor new functional ceramic materials.

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Awardee Dr. Jingyuan Xu in her laboratory at Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyPhoto: Markus Breig, KIT
Prize of the Leopoldina for Young Scientist Jingyuan Xu from KIT

With the Leopoldina Prize for young scientists 2023, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina honors Dr. Jingyuan Xu, who researches novel heating and cooling technologies for the energy transition at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Currently, the young engineer can boast two more significant awards: the Hector RCD Award as well as admission to the Global Young Academy, an exclusive association of international young scientists.

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f.l.t.r.: The three members of the Board of Directors Edward Lemke, Sylvia Erhardt, and center spokesperson Michael Knop, as well as Phil-Alan Gärtig of the Carl Zeiss Foundation (Photo: UwUni Heidelberg, Uwe Anspach
New Center for Synthetic Genomics

Applying and developing new technologies for DNA synthesis to pave the way for producing entire artificial genomes – that is the goal of a new interdisciplinary center that is being established at Heidelberg University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). The aim of the Center for Synthetic Genomics is to spark new developments in synthetic genomics through basic research and technology development using methods of artificial intelligence. The Carl Zeiss Foundation (CZS) is financing the center’s establishment over a period of six years with a total amount of twelve million euros.

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Tobias Abzieher Pervoskite photovoltaics promises to reach high efficiencies. KIT researchers and partners have now analyzed various approaches to production. Photo: Tobias Abzieher
Perovskite Solar Cells: Vacuum Process May Offer a Short Track to Commercialization

Research and industry worldwide work on the commercialization of perovskite photovoltaics. Most research laboratories focus on solvent-based manufacturing processes, because these methods are versatile and easy to use. Established photovoltaic industries, however, almost exclusively apply vacuum processes for the deposition of high-quality thin films. An international consortium led by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, USA) has now analyzed this critical discrepancy between laboratory and industry. They emphasize that if improved, industrially tested vacuum processes could contribute to the rapid commercialization of perovskite solar cells.

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Qinu GmbH, Cryogenic microwave setup used for quantum device measurements.Photo: Qinu GmbH,
Fundamental Equation for Superconducting Quantum Bits Revised

Physicists from Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have uncovered that Josephson tunnel junctions – the fundamental building blocks of superconducting quantum computers – are more complex than previously thought. Just like overtones in a musical instrument, harmonics are superimposed on the fundamental mode. As a consequence, corrections may lead to quantum bits that are 2 to 7 times more stable.

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IAMT doctoral researcher Minh Nhat Nguyen tested a membrane of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes.Photo: IAMT, KIT
Membrane Technology: Looking Deep into Smallest Pores

Membranes of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VaCNT) can be used to clean or desalinate water at high flow rate and low pressure. Recently, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and partners carried out steroid hormone adsorption experiments to study the interplay of forces in the small pores. They found that VaCNT of specific pore geometry and pore surface structure are suited for use as highly selective membranes.

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Giant lattice softening at a Lifshitz transition in Sr2RuO4

In solid state materials, changes in the crystal lattice are often accompanied by changes in the electronic system. Whether the lattice or the electrons is the primary driver of a transition may, however, be difficult to ascertain. Noad et al. measured the Young’s modulus in the extremely clean material Sr2RuO4 as it underwent an electronic (Lifshitz) transition. The researchers found a large drop in the Young’s modulus at the transition, suggesting that conduction electrons drive a nonlinear elastic response in this material.

KIT enters the final selection round with one new initiative and two renewal proposals for Clusters of Excellence. (Photo: Magali Hauser, KIT) Magali Hauser, KIT
Clusters of Excellence: KIT Is in the Final Round with One New Initiative and Two Renewal Proposals

With one new full proposal, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will go into the final of the “Clusters of Excellence” funding line of the Excellence Strategy Competition launched by the federal and state governments. KIT’s sketch of a chemical platform for highly precise quantum architectures convinced the international expert jury. The results of the first selection round were announced by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Council of Science and Humanities (WR) this morning (February 2, 2024). In addition, KIT and its partners will submit renewal proposals for the two existing Clusters of Excellence on 3D designer materials and battery research.

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Sören Lehmkuhl becomes Emmy Noether fellow

The DFG has awarded Sören Lehmkuhl with an Emmy Noether Independant Junior Research group. The central research goal will be to develop a new sensor based on the RASER approach.

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Living organisms can be observed for longer times with the new method. Here, you can see a parasitic Trichogramma wasp that developed in the egg of a grain moth and emerges from it. (Image: Rebecca Spiecker, KIT) Rebecca Spiecker, KIT
Gentle X-ray Imaging of Small Living Specimens

Researchers from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and partners all over Germany have developed a new system for X-ray imaging, which is suited for both living specimens and sensitive materials. The system records images of micrometer resolution at a minimum radiation dose. In a pilot study, the researchers tested their method on living parasitic wasps and observed them for more than 30 minutes. They report in Optica.

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Cutting-edge research in optics and photonics needs special clean rooms for sensitive components. (Photo: Sandra Göttisheim, KIT) Sandra Göttisheim, KIT
Optics and Photonics: High-tech Center for KIT

The Karlsruhe Center for Optics and Photonics (KCOP) is taking shape. At the new, highly modern technology center of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), research teams will work on applications of light or photons. These include highly efficient photovoltaics, 6G communication and glass fiber networks, novel quantum sensors, superconducting detectors, extremely fast 3D image acquisition, and high-resolution microscopy for life sciences. The 56 million Euro building is planned to be inaugurated in early 2026.

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For their innovative surface technology for medical implants, nanoshape GmbH was granted the NEO2023 by the jury. (Photo: ©ARTIS Uli Deck ) ARTIS Uli Deck
Innovative Materials: NEO2023 Goes to Startup of KIT

Yesterday evening (November 30, 2023) nanoshape GmbH, a startup of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), won the NEO2023 Jury Prize in the amount of EUR 20,000 of the Karlsruhe Technology Region for its surface technology to prevent inflammations of implants. Researchers of KIT’s Institute for Mechanical Process Engineering and Mechanics (MVM) were granted the Prize of the Audience for their electrically conductive and printable adhesive that can be used in microelectronic and solar modules.

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Within the DiRecReg project, four institutes of KIT and seven companies develop a complete process chain for a better recycling of spent batteries and production waste. (Photo: wbk, KIT) wbk, KIT
Recovering Materials Rather Than Shredding: More Efficient Recycling of Batteries

The market for electric cars is growing rapidly and so does the need for lithium-ion batteries. Their recycling is an important part of the production cycle. Current methods are based on the decomposition of active battery materials into their molecular constituents, which is associated with a high consumption of energy and chemicals. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and industry partners have now launched a collaboration to develop a more efficient recycling process for spent batteries, by means of which the active components are recovered while maintaining their functionality. The project is funded by the Federal Research Ministry with approximately EUR 3 million.

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