Funding Renewal for Two Collaborative Research Centers


In interdisciplinary, DFG-funded research institutions, RWTH researchers are seeking to increase the precision of component prodcution and to optimize high-performance plasmas.


The Collaborative Research Centers CRC 1120 and CRC/TRR 87, a collaboration with Ruhr-Universität Bochum, will continue to receive funding from the German Research Foundation, DFG.

Collaborative Research Centers, CRC for short, are university-based research institutions which are established for up to three funding periods of four years. By bringing together researchers and resources from the applicant university within the CRC, it becomes possible to tackle demanding research projects on a long term basis. CRCs thus help to establish institutional priority areas and promote structural development.


CRC 1120 "Precision Manufacturing by Controlling Melt Dynamics and Solidification in Production Processes"

The German Research Foundation has funded this Collaborative Research Center at RWTH Aachen University, which combines expertise from the fields of materials science, mechanical engineering, and production technology, since 2014. The objective of the CRC is to significantly increase the quality of production processes involving molten phases.

In such production processes, it is difficult to meet the increasing demands for high component precision, which can only be achieved with great efforts in the process set-up and post-processing steps. CRC 1120 seeks to give a comprehensive description of melt-based manufacturing technologies such as casting, injection molding, welding, cutting, additive manufacturing and melt based coating, and develop compensatory measures so as to increase part precision by at least one order of magnitude.

While the first phase focused on the identification and analysis of the factors impacting component precision, the second phase seeks to describe these factors with regard to the greatest achievable precision. Over the next four years, ten RWTH institutes will contribute to the further development of melt-based processes. The project receives eleven million euros in funding.

Further information: CRC 1120 – Precision Melt Engineering


Transregional CRC 88 – Pulsed High-Power Plasmas for the Synthesis of Nano-Structural Functional Layers

The transregional CRC, which is a collaboration between Ruhr-Universität Bochum as a coordinating university and RWTH Aachen, has received funding from the German Research Foundation since 2010.

Plasma technology is used in many technical areas and has been described as one of the key technologies of the 21st century. Alongside traditional fields of application, this technology is also being increasingly used in the finishing of plastics. Nevertheless, a number of questions still remain unanswered, for example regarding the fundamental relationships between plasma physics and material properties.

Researchers from the fields of plasma physics, plasma technology, materials science, material technology, mechanical engineering and chemistry collaborate in the CRC to investigate the potential of high-performance plasmas. In the upcoming phase, for which funding renewal has been granted, the focus is on ternary and quarternary ceramic layer systems on metal substrates with outstanding tribological properties as well as on silicon- and carbon-containing oxide layers on plastic substrates with excellent barrier properties.

The Center applies novel –and a number of self-developed – source technologies with a broad range of complementary quantitative plasma diagnostic techniques as well as single particle beam experiments. The experiments are complemented by modelling activities at various levels. The focus is on pulsed high-performance plasmas, including high-power pulsed magnetron sputtering systems, multi-frequency capacitively-coupled plasma processing systems, and inductively coupled plasmas, among others.

The objective is to investigate the relationships between material characteristics and plasma parameters, to quantify them, and apply them to facilitate plasma control, layer development, and in-situ layer control. Empirical approaches, which are dominant today, are to be superseded and a physics- and chemistry based process understanding is to be developed with the help of experimental and theoretical insights.

The upcoming third phase seeks to validate this combination of experiment and theory and to demonstrate the consistency and continuity of the description from the atom in the gaseous phase to cthe ompleted layer with its composite and system properties. Another focus is on the transfer of research results into industrial application and their transferability to other systems.

Further information: TRR87 Pulsed High-power Plasmas