Ferroic properties like ferromagnetism, ferroelectricity and ferroelasticity are found in many applications and devices of daily life. Ferromagnetic memory devices and ferroelectric capacitors for example are indispensable parts of all kinds of electronics. High performance fuel injection systems contain piezoelectric ceramic components and thus a material that combines ferroelectric and ferroelastic properties.
The development of ferroic materials for complex components in new applications inevitably requires an understanding of the relationship between materials chemistry, processing, microstructure and properties. In order to generate this basic knowledge and transfer it to application the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Advanced Ferroic Oxides was founded by Klaus Reichmann at Graz University of Technology and Jürgen Fleig at Vienna University of Technology. It is supported by EPCOS, the biggest European producer of passive components, whose competence centre for ceramic components is located in Deutschlandsberg, Western Styria. The laboratory will cover the topics of new synthesis and processing routes, the understanding of charge transport phenomena, the interaction of different ferroic properties in a material and the development of materials for high electrical and mechanical load. The mission of this Christian Doppler Laboratory is to provide an effective research output assisted by modern equipment and methods and to increase the innovative strength of the industrial partner.