Key Info

Basic Information

Portrait: Prof. Dr. Sandra Korte-Kerzel © Copyright: Peter Winandy
Prof. Dr. Sandra Korte-Kerzel
Faculty / Institution:
Georesources and Materials Engineering
Organizational Unit:
Institute of Physical Metallurgy and Metal Physics
Excellent Science
Project duration:
01.06.2020 to 31.05.2025
EU contribution:
1.499.719 euros
  EU flag and ERC logo This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 852096)  


Fundamental Building Blocks – Understanding plasticity in complex crystals based on their simplest, intergrown units


New structural materials with higher strength and temperature capabilities are the key enablers of sustain-able energy conversion and transport technology of the future.

The question is: How do we find those central high-performers combining high strength and the essential deformability giving safety in application?

It is the aim of FUNBLOCKS to provide the first systematic studies of plasticity mechanisms in the most fundamental building blocks of complex crystals. These will allow us to deduce the missing basic mechanisms and signatures of plasticity. FUNBLOCKS will take a new approach by studying the much simpler sub-units that form the multitude of more complex crystals with large unit cells amongst the intermetallics. This has three major implications: i) the reduction to fundamental units allows suffi-cient time to unravel the major deformation mechanisms to the atomic level, ii) the recurrent nature of the few fundamental building blocks will allow a transfer of this knowledge to a large number of complex phases and iii) together, this will enable data mining from the vast and largely unexplored phase space of intermetallics.

The key aspect of FUNBLOCKS is therefore to close the existing gap in knowledge and allow us to find promising new phases by elucidating the fundamental relationships between crystal structure and plasticity beyond what we know in simple metals. To identify and quantify the intrinsic mechanical properties of each sub-unit, state-of-the-art micromechanical testing techniques will be used. Transfer of data and verification of the central hypothesis, that fundamental units govern plasticity in complex crystals, will be achieved via additional alloyed crystals forming ternary variants of the binary structures.

Ultimately, FUNBLOCKS will answer fundamental questions in plasticity, most prominently the interplay of deformation and structure in complex crystals, and thereby support the development of new high performance materials.