Scratch-resistant and lightweight casings for smart phones and laptops; featherweight aircraft wings that are highly stable as well; turbine coatings that can withstand extreme heat; photovoltaic systems that can generate electricity efficiently from 'waste' heat. All of these areas of use have one thing in common: The materials available to us today fulfil these requirements only to a certain extent, or not at all. Therefore the researchers at the SFB 986 Collaborative Research Centre have set themselves the task of creating a new 'genus' of materials — so-called 'Tailor-Made Multi-Scale Materials Systems'. The SFB 986 was inaugurated by the German Research Foundation in 2012. It involves around 70 scientists from the Hamburg University of Technology, the University of Hamburg, the Helmholtz Centre for Materials and Coastal Research in Geesthacht as well as the DESY. Read more...


The Collaborative Research Centre is divided into three project areas:

The experts from Area A are investigating 'quasi-self-similar structures with multifunctional properties' such as the nano-ceramics that are covered with polymer layers like tooth enamel.

The focus in Area B is on 'nano-structured multi-phase materials systems'. Here, the researchers are studying new types of materials involving carbon networks as well as sponge-like metallic structures.

Area C is concerned with 'materials systems for photonics at high temperatures'; these are based on innovative concepts for materials that interact in certain ways with heat radiation.