TopicS: Structural Materials
The link between processing, microstructure, and properties of a material has long been a leitmotif in materials science. Yet, there remain exciting and uncharted opportunities in tailoring properties by deliberate microstructure designs on multiple discrete length scales. This symposium aims to combine expertise from materials science, chemistry, and physics for developing macroscopic materials that achieve novel properties by exploiting microstructural features on several characteristic length scales, designed “on the drawing board”. The vision is to start with single, nanoscale building blocks and to assemble larger units by stepwise aggregation on different length scales. Multiscale materials systems, combining ceramics, metals, and/or polymers, and with designed structures on each length scale, may be envisaged as the outcome. Nested metallic structures on different length scales, formed by alloy corrosion and filled with polymers, may provide an alternate route exemplifying the same paradigm. Owing to their design, such macroscopic materials will have tailor-made mechanical, electrical, and photonic properties. Their multiscale structure opens up possibilities to exchange building units in a concerted way in order to create novel material properties and, thus, to achieve entirely new materials functions.