The department's specific research field was Phase Transformations in solid materials. On the basis of cutting-edge experiments, the team strived to develop models of phase transformations in bulk and nanomaterials (thin films). These models did not only provide fundamental insight into nature, but were also applicable in practice in order to optimize material properties by controlling the material microstructure. The department excelled in the application of X-ray diffraction (XRD) methods, surface analytical methods (Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and ellipsometry), and calorimetric and dilatometric methods. Also computer simulations of diffusion and phase transformations were an indispensable tool in the department’s work.
Our goal is to understand the principles of Perception, Action and Learning in autonomous systems that successfully interact with complex environments and to use this understanding to design future systems