Many perovskite (ABO3-structured) titanates are of great interest because of their exceptional electrical and dielectrical properties and, consequently, use or potential use in several electronic devices. Conventional solid state synthesis of these materials often requires high temperature in the range of 1000 – 1300 °C. As promising alternative, electric field assisted sintering, specifically flash sintering, which consists of applying an electric field at a moderate furnace temperature on the green body, enables production of dense sample in few seconds. Furthermore, flash sintering technology has been already applied for rapid synthesis of pure, single phase polycrystalline materials in a one-step flash experiment, also known as reactive flash sintering.

For gaining deeper insights in the mechanisms of this novel material synthesis method, the scope of the master thesis is the synthesis of pure, single phase perovskite structures by reactive flash sintering. The effects of external electric fields on microstructure evolution, grain growth and orientation will be studied in detail. Furthermore, physical properties of the samples (electric, magnetic, dielectric properties) will be characterized in tight cooperation with the project partners.

The master thesis work will be carried out in a joint project with University of Cologne and Technical University of Darmstadt within the frame work of DFG priority research program SPP1959 “FieldsMatter”.

Your responsibilities

  • Characterization of the starting materials (XRD, particle size distribution and morphology)
  • Conventional sintering of the powder mixture as reference
  • Reactive flash sintering: Influence of the electric field and electric current on the synthesis and densification of the perovskite materials
  • Comprehensive characterization of the reactive flash sintered samples, especially with respect to the phase purity, microstructure and densification
  • Characterization of physical properties in cooperation with the project partners

Your profile

  • Studies of e.g. material science, applied physics, inorganic chemistry, mechanical engineering or related topics
  • Basic knowledge of material processing and working in the lab
  • Independent work in a motivated team
  • Good command of written and spoken English

Our offer

  • Participation in the DFG Priority Program SPP1959 “FieldsMatter”
  • A highly motivated, interdisciplinary work environment at Forschungszentrum Jülich, one of the largest research institutions in Europe
  • Professional support of qualified supervisors
  • 6 months working contract as student assistant

Please send your applications via e-mail to:
apl. Prof. Dr. Martin Bram
Forschungszentrum Jülich,
Institute of Energy and Climate Research
(IEK-1: Materials Synthesis and Processing)


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