Materials Chain

Materials Chain is the first and largest flagship program of the University Alliance Ruhr. It offers a platform for interdisciplinary networking that brings together researchers from fundamental natural sciences to applied materials science and production technology. More than 200 scientists from more than 150 chairs and research groups from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dortmund University, and the University of Duisburg-Essen research and teach under the umbrella of the flagship program. The profile is complemented by cooperations with 11 regional partner institutions.
Building on the proven strengths at the respective university locations, Materials Chain initiates new research projects and associations to strengthen the role of the Ruhr Area as an internationally leading research region for modern materials and their production.
Take a look behind the laboratory doors of some of the natural scientists and engineers working within the Materials Chain network:

Upcoming Events

Who are we? Why is collaboration important in modern materials science? And what are we working on?

Learn more about our network


Seminar Series “Materials and Energy: Challenges and Opportunities”

The Materials Chain Seminar Series “Materials and Energy: Challenges and Opportunities” brings together highly visible researchers across the various fields of materials science who investigate the intricate relationship between energy and materials. “Energy” and “Materials” have an overarching importance for the future development of our society. They are coupled in multiple ways ranging from fundamental science to real-world applications. Analyzing their intricate relationship as energy-materials nexus, however, is a new approach. Because solutions are urgently needed, this field requires intense interaction and collaboration across scientific disciplines and along the entire chain from fundamental science to industrial application.

The seminar series takes places on Thursdays and Fridays, typically from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. All lectures will be held in the same ZOOM room. Registration is not required, feel free to join the Seminar Series via

Next talk:

Date Presenter Title
Thursday, February 10th
4:30 p.m.
Prof. Aimy Bazylak, Thermofluidics for Clean Energy, University of Toronto, Canada Operando imaging and numerical modelling to examine multiphase transport in electrochemical energy conversion

Further lectures will be announced as soon as possible.
Learn more about our Seminar Series

Materials Chain International Conference 2021

Our third Materials Chain International Conference, MCIC 2021: Materials Discovery and Processing for Energy, took place online via Zoom on November 22nd, 2021.
Thank you to all speakers and participants who made MCIC 2021 a big success with their high-level talks and discussions!
With up to 106 guests in our Zoom room, we were happy to see both new and familiar faces being able to connect and exchange scientifically at least online in these unprecendented times. We look forward to seeing you all at upcoming Materials Chain meetings in 2022, hopefully in person!

Learn more on MCIC 2021

Latest News

Catalyst surface analysed at atomic resolution

Catalyst surfaces have rarely been imaged in such detail before. And yet, every single atom can play a decisive role in catalytic activity.

A German-Chinese research team has visualised the three-dimensional structure of the surface of catalyst nanoparticles at atomic resolution. This structure plays a decisive role in the activity and stability of the particles. The detailed insights were achieved with a combination of atom probe tomography, spectroscopy and electron microscopy. Nanoparticle catalysts can be used, for example, in the production of hydrogen for the chemical industry. To optimise the performance of future catalysts, it... read more

Better Materials for 3D Laser Printing

DFG Priority Program Extended

The starting signal was given in 2018, and now the 2nd round is underway: the German Research Foundation (DFG) is continuing to fund Priority Program (SPP) 2122 "New materials for laser-based additive manufacturing". Over the next three years, laser-based 3D printing and the materials used for it will be further developed to make the process even better. The University Duisburg-Essen (UDE) remains the coordinating university. In total, the DFG is funding 12 projects with around 25 doctoral students. Fast... read more

Making the Manufacture of Chemical Products Sustainable

Junior Research Group

The junior research group "H2Organic" is working on a green electrochemical process under the leadership of Dr. Daniel Siegmund, group leader "Electrocatalysis" at Fraunhofer UMSICHT and post-doctoral researcher at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) supervised by Materials Chain member Prof. Ulf-Peter Apfel. It all started with a competition. With his idea of using innovative materials for the electrocatalytic hydrogenation of organic chemicals, Siegmund applied to the "BMBF NanoMatFuture" competition... read more