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Research Area C

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In Research Area C, we will develop concepts for increasing the longevity of materials systems to ensure and promote their functionality for their whole lifetime. The persistence and maintenance of functionalities during an extended lifespan will be accomplished by integrating and compiling numerous system components at various (hierarchical) levels.

The goal is to achieve an artificial materials system that will function (almost) forever under various changing environmental conditions and without battery or external wiring. These concepts of longevity will be essentially based on the interplay and conflation of indispensable principles responding to the requirements of long-living materials systems: intrinsic detection of systemic demands and of (incipient) damage, autonomous response for restoring and repairing functions, and resource efficiency of energy and systems components. A central task will be to identify the most efficient approaches for “training-”, “repair-” and “detour-routes”, selected from a panoply of options.

The approaches selected will depend on the specific functions of the system which need to be maintained and possibly reinforced. We aim to assure the longevity of functions like mechanical stability, (rapid) sensing and reflection of light as well as efficient ways of harvesting, converting and storing energy.

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