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10 december 2018

Closed Industrial Partnership Programme

Number i15.
Title Size dependent material properties (SDMP) 
Executive organisational unit BUW
Programme management Prof.dr.ir. M.G.D. Geers 
Duration 2008-2013
Cost estimate M€ 2.0
Partner(s) M2i, various industrial partners 

A systematic understanding of how physical, chemical and mechanical properties change and how materials behave when the system size is reduced is a prerequisite for making use of such size-dependent properties. The objective of this open programme is to acquire fundamental insight in the complex scale-dependent relation between these properties and the processing of small scale components and thin films in defining the underlying details of their physical and chemical state (stresses, confinement, constraints, interfaces, external surface, …). The programme focuses on the size-dependence of materials resulting from miniaturizing the applications, with a direct relation to the processing conditions used.

Focal points:
- size dependent material properties;
- applied to or relevant for miniaturized devices or components;
- highlighting the influence of processing (resulting compositions, inhomogeneities, interfaces, stress states, …);
- qualifying, quantifying and controlling the size dependency.

Background, relevance and implementation
The ongoing miniaturization in micro-electronics, MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) and a variety of thin film applications (displays, solar cells, …) naturally involves smaller components, substructures or films, for which there is clear evidence that the physical, chemical, electrical and mechanical properties are influenced by the size reduction. Many materials exhibit such unexpected and potentially useful properties different from their bulk behavior when confined to sub-micrometer dimensions. A systematic understanding of how properties change and how materials behave when the system size is reduced is a requirement to account for, or even exploit, such size-dependent properties during design.

This programme is strongly related to the research efforts conducted in the clusters of the M2i, focusing on fundamental properties and processing of functional materials. The FOM-M2i programme particularly addressed scientific issues, which are too fundamental for direct support from industry, but the answers of which are of great technological interest.

The final evaluation of this programme will consisted of a self-evaluation initiated by the programme leader, which was presented to the executive board in the summer of 2015.

Please find a research highlight that was achieved in 2013 within this FOM programme here.