Nanoporous transition metals for strength and function-towards a cost-efficient materials base

An emerging research focus of IWW and its partners at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht and the Institute of Metal Research in Shenyang explores tailor-made materials systems that combine structural light-weight alloys and polymers at the nanoscale. The materials design aims to implement damage tolerance and the functionality required for structural health monitoring on the microstructure and component level. Special emphasis lies in the mechanical performance at low weight, as a predominant challenge of energy efficient mobile applications. The key approach is to include nanoscale metallic networks that can be prepared in bulk form through the controlled corrosion of alloys. Model experiments using nanoporous Gold and Gold-Platinum alloys, in some instances infiltrated with expoxy resin, have established attractive mechanical properties as well as functional behavior such as actuation or sensing capability. An imminent challenge on the way to application is to transfer these results to more cost-efficient and light-weight metals and alloys. This requires corrosion processes that work with less noble metal such as Cu, Ni or Ni-base alloys, or Ti. Aqueous corrosion will not in all instances be appropriate, and metal melts may emerge as the corrosion media of choice.

project lead:Jörg Weißmüller
assistant project lead:Benedikt Roschning
colleagues:Benedikt Roschning
time span:01.05.2015 bis 30.04.2018
funding:Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers,
in cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Sciences



A.V. Okulov, A. Volegov, J. Weissmüller, J. Markmann and I. Okulov
Dealloying-Based Metal-Polymer Composites for Biomedical Applications
Scripta Materialia 146 (2018) 290–294.

H. Jin, J. Weissmüller and D. Farkas
Mechanical Response of Nanoporous Metals:  A Story of Size, Surface Stress, and Severed Struts
MRS Bulletin 43 (2018) 35–42.

I. Okulov, A.V. Okulov, I.V. Soldatov, B. Luthringer, R. Willumeit-Römer, T. Wada, H. Kato, J. Weissmüller and J. Markmann
Open Porous Dealloying-Based Biomaterials as a Novel Biomaterial Platform
Materials Science & Engineering C 88 (2018) 95–103.

L. Lührs and J. Weissmüller
Nanoporous Copper-Nickel – Macroscopic Bodies of a Strong and Deformable Nanoporous Base Metal by Dealloying
Scripta Materialia 155 (2018) 119-123.

I.V. Okulov, S.V. Lamaka, T. Wada, K. Yubuta, M.L. Zheludkevich, J. Weissmüller, J. Markmann and H. Kato
Nanoporous Magnesium
Nano Research 11 (2018) 6428–6435

I.V. Okulov, J. Weissmüller and J. Markmann
Dealloying-Based Interpenetrating-Phase Nanocomposites Matching the Elastic Behavior of Human Bone
Scientific Reports 7 (2017) 20