Many properties can play a role in the development of new materials. Fraunhofer IPM has decades of experience in analyzing materials, in particular functional materials from thermoelectrics, calorics, coating technology and semiconductor technology. The range of materials that can be analyzed extends from nanometer-thick layers to larger pieces of material that we prepare suitably for the analysis.
For material analysis, we have extensively equipped labs and measurement setups at our disposal, some of which were developed in-house. Our excellent measurement technology in combination with our comprehensive expertise form the basis for determining thermophysical variables such as thermal conductivity (even for thin films), specific heat capacity or phase transformation temperature. This makes it possible to address a wide temperature range above and below room temperature. In our labs, we can also determine electrical properties such as electrical conductivity and charge carrier concentration.
To analyze the material structure, we have measuring equipment such as a state-of-the-art high-performance 3D computer tomograph, a scanning electron microscope with rapid element analysis (also as mapping, i.e. element distribution image) and a laser scanning microscope. Material processing prior to analysis, e.g. sawing, polishing and the preparation of material cross sections, is carried out in our preparation lab.
Our equipment also allows entire analytical chains – for example, it is possible to directly investigate how defects detected during structural analysis may affect thermophysical and electrical properties.