Team

Grant holder

World leading expert in magnetocaloric and permanent magnets research and development

Prof. Dr. Oliver Gutfleisch is a full Professor at TU Darmstadt for material science and functional materials in the fields of energy systems and renewable energy applications, and a scientific manager at Fraunhofer IWKS Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies. His scientific interests include new permanent magnets for power applications, solid state energy efficient magnetic cooling, ferromagnetic shape memory alloys, magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications, and recycling of rare earth containing materials, with a particular emphasis on tailoring structural and chemical properties on the nanoscale while retaining resource efficiency on element, process and product levels.

Theoretical science

Simulations of thermodynamic properties and high throughput approach for synthesis of new magnetocaloric materials

Jun. Prof. Dr. Hongbin Zhang is an expert in the theory of magnetic materials for both equilibrium and transport properties driven by spin-orbit coupling and electronic correlations using first-principles methods (DFT and beyond). The phenomena of his interest are the anisotropic response of magnetic materials, topological charge/spin transport and the interplay of spin-orbit coupling and electronic correlations. Prof. Zhang is performing the ab-initio, high-throughput screening of nove magnetocaloric materials focusing on the Heusler-type (including anti-perovskite-like) families of materials.

Prof. Dr. Bai-Xiang Xu is specializing in phase field modelling and finite element simulations of ferroelectric and ferromagnetic materials, as well as in the micromechanics theory of composites. One of her recent research topics was focused on the modelling and design of elastocaloric cycles of relaxor ferroelectrics. Prof. Xu is responsible for the mesoscopic finite-element simulations of thermomechanical and elastocaloric behavior of magnetocaloric composites produced by additive manufacturing. The results will assist the design of novel heat exchangers with desired functionality.

M.Sc. Nuno Fortunato is a PhD student who explores the theory of magnetic materials. Nuno specializes in Monte Carlo and DFT methods applied to the problem of structural and magnetic transitions and finite-temperature stability. He has experience with the simulation of such thermodynamic properties like magnetocaloric effect, magnetic entropy and free energy, as well as the calculation of  exchange interactions, electronic density of states, equilibrium structures and  phonons DFT. He is currently working on the discovery of novel magnetocaloric Heusler alloys, using the high-throughput approach.

M.Sc. Dominik Ohmer received his degree in ‘Theory of Magnetic Materials’ performing DFT calculations for the high-throughput design of M2AX compounds. Now he is a PhD student (‘Mechanics of Functional Materials’) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Bai-Xiang Xu. Beside the knowledge of ab-initio calculations, Dominik is experienced in the finite element method after investigating the influence of surface stresses on diffusion processes in spherical and ellipsoidal particles. Presently he is working on the calculation of the magnetocaloric effect in microscopic systems, in particular, taking into account the effect of microstructure.

Experimental science

Design and engineering of test beds and future prototypes, development and optimization of materials for heat exchangers

Experimental physicist Dr. Franziska Scheibel is an expert in the field of magnetostructural transitions and hysteresis effects in Heusler alloys, antiperovskites and pnictides. She is experienced in the synthesis of magnetocaloric materials using arc melting and solid-state reaction technique, as well as in the subsequent structural, microstructural and magnetic characterization and adiabatic temperature change measurements. Currently she is working on optimizing the efficiency of potential magnetocaloric refrigerant materials and their mechanic stability at the multi-stimuli cycle that uses stress.

Experimental physicist Dr. Alisa Chirkova has developed knowledge on the relation of microstructural and magnetocaloric properties of materials during her PhD study of FeRh alloys. She is skilled in synthesis, structural and microstructural analysis of magnetocaloric materials, as well as characterization of magnetic and thermal properties. Her main focus is on the development and design of the future prototype, however, the ways of development and optimization of existing and newly synthesized magnetocaloric materials remain in the focus as well.

Material scientist M.Sc. Andreas Taubel is a PhD student working on the development of magnetocaloric materials for alternative refrigeration technology. His focus is on the Heusler alloys family and hexagonal/orthorhombic MM’X compounds. The goal is to tailor the magnetocaloric properties for mechanically stable and sustainable materials for magnetocaloric refrigeration applications.

Material scientist M.Sc. Lukas Pfeuffer is a PhD student experienced in synthesis and characterization of magnetocaloric compounds, powder-metallurgical manufacturing techniques, as well as in microstructural, crystallographic and magnetic analysis methods. Additionally, he has expertise of the mechanical characterization of metals and metal ceramic composites by bending and hardness tests.

Engineering

Development, design and engineering of the test bench and future prototype

Material scientist M. Sc. Navid Shayanfar (degrees in Materials Science and Engineering, Materials Science and Simulation) focuses on the design and engineering of the prototype and test benches in Coolinnov project. His expertise lies within the development of measuring devices and programming, complemented by the knowledge of magnetocaloric cooling approaches and synthesis and characterization of magnetocaloric materials.

Advisors

Scientific expertise and advice in practical aspects of materials science and engineering

Dr. Konstantin P. Skokov is a very experienced material physicist who specializes in materials synthesis and magnetic measurements. He has synthesized and characterized a wide variety of metallic magnetic materials (amorphous, nanocrystalline, single crystals etc.). An expert in the development of high-performance magnetocaloric materials and unique experimental techniques for the advanced characterization of caloric materials (measurements of adiabatic temperature change, magnetostriction, thermal conductivity, Seebeck coefficient).

Dr. Iliya Radulov is an experienced material physicist with large experience in setting-up experiments on commercial experimental equipment and development of goal specific home build equipment e.g. for magnetization, polarization, magnetostriction, dielectric or electrotransport measurements on single and/or polycrystalline samples. An expert in defining the structural, mechanical and thermal properties of condensed matter samples using various experimental methods.

Dr. Tino Gottschall is a high-potential young physicist who completed his PhD with distinction in July 2016 in the group of Prof. Gutfleisch. Since 2017 Dr. Gottschall works at the Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory (Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf) supporting external users in pulsed-field experiments. He is skilled in the preparation of functional materials, especially Heusler alloys, in their detailed magnetocaloric characterization in static and pulsed magnetic fields, as well as in the modelling of physical properties and the development of demonstrators and measurement setups.

Dr.-Ing. Maximilian Fries is an experienced engineer in the field of thin film and bulk magnetic materials. He finished his PhD on magnetocaloric materials and their application in magnetic energy conversion in the group of Functional Materials in 2017. Since then he has focused on the engineering and economic aspects of the magnetic cooling technology. He has gained profound experience in additive manufacturing and prototype development leading to the foundation of the company MagnoTherm Solutions in 2019.

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