Andrea Bachmaier wins ERC Starting Grant

We are happy to share the wonderful news that Dr. Andrea Bachmaier has been granted a prestigious ERC Starting Grant to explore the new research area of SPD processed nanoscaled magnetic materials. The project acronym for this ERC Grant is “SpdTuM”: SPD nanostructured magnets with tuneable properties. Following the ERC Advanced Grant for Prof. Jürgen Eckert and Prof. Reinhard Pippan, the Erich Schmid Institute of Materials Science (Austrian Academy of Sciences) now hosts three ERC Grant holders.

SpdTuM – The Project

The decrease of weight and the increase of efficiency of magnetic components are essential for the reduction of CO2-emission and an improvement of their performance. Nanostructuring can dramatically improve the magnetic properties of soft and hard magnetic materials, hence opening up entirely new possibilities for the development of novel magnets. Nanocomposite magnets, for example, have been the focus of research since two decades. One of the remaining key challenges is to synthesize bulk nanostructured magnets of a reasonable size.

In this project, this challenge is explicitly addressed and the potential to fabricate bulk nanostructured magnets by severe plastic deformation (SPD) as an innovative processing route is evaluated. The aim of the project is not only to synthesize different nanostructured magnets by SPD, but also to tailor their microstructure to attain the desired magnetic properties. It has been shown that the magnetic properties of SPD processed nanocrystalline materials can be modified in wide range by decomposition of metastable solid solutions. By using different immiscible systems, decomposition mechanisms and annealing treatments, unique nanostructures can be obtained and the magnetic properties can be optimized. Through the choice of different magnetic starting materials, such as soft, hard and antiferromagnetic-ferromagnetic powders, different types of hard magnetic nanocomposites will also be obtained. Fine tuning of the microstructure and resulting magnetic properties through adjustments in the composition, SPD processing parameters and annealing treatments is planned. The project systematically addresses the entire process from the synthesis to the in-depth microstructural characterization by electron microscopy and atom probe tomography. In combination with simultaneous measurements of magnetic properties, the newly developed knowledge will be used to improve the performance of SPD processed nanostructured magnets.          

Key data ERC Starting Grant                                                                                                 

  • Project: SPD nanostructured magnets with tuneable properties                                                                                          
  • Researcher: Andrea Bachmaier                                                             
  • Host institution: Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • ERC funding: € 1.5 million for 5 years

Dr. Andrea Bachmaier is a senior scientist at the Erich Schmid Institute of Materials Science. Her scientific interests span from the generation of metastable materials to novel nanocomposites and nanocrystalline metal-matrix composites by SPD with a particular emphasis on tailoring structural and functional properties on the nanoscale. The ERC Starting Grant will be used to build up her own research group focusing on nanocrystalline magnetic materials.