About MRS

Ehrenfried Zschech, Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems

Ehrenfried Zschech

Ehrenfried Zschech is department head for microelectronic materials and nanoanalysis at Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems in Dresden, Germany, which he joined in 2009. His responsibilities include multi-scale materials characterization and reliability engineering. He holds an adjunct professorship at the Faculty of Chemistry, Warsaw University, Poland, as well as honorary professorships for nanomaterials at Brandenburg University of Technology and for nanoanalysis at Dresden University of Technology. He received his Dr. rer. nat. degree from Dresden University of Technology, and having spent four years as project leader in metal physics and reliability of microelectronic interconnects at the Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals in Freiberg, he was appointed as a university lecturer in ceramic materials at the Freiberg University of Technology. In 1992, he joined the development department at Airbus in Bremen, where he managed the metal physics group and studied laser-welding metallurgy of aluminum alloys. From 1997 to 2009, he managed the Materials Analysis Department and the Center for Complex Analysis at Advanced Micro Devices in Dresden where he was responsible for analytical support to the process control and technology development in cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing, as well as for physical failure analysis.

Zschech’s research focuses on structure-property relationships of materials. He has done extensive work in the field of high-resolution materials characterization, particularly using X-ray microscopy and nano X-ray tomography with materials for energy storage and conversion, with lightweight materials and with microelectronic products. In-situ microscopy studies of degradation kinetics of interconnect materials in microchips has enabled comprehensive understanding of atomic transport processes in metal nanostructures that limit the reliability of microelectronic products. Most recently his focus has moved to high-resolution studies of advanced 1D and 2D materials for future electronics and sensor applications. Zschech has published three books and authored or co-authored about 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals in the areas of materials science, solid-state physics and reliability engineering.

Zschech has given invited talks at several MRS Meetings. He is also active in other materials societies such as the German Materials Research Society (DGM) and the Federation of the European Materials Societies (FEMS). He has been a DGM Board Member and a FEMS Executive Member. He was elected FEMS President for the 2012-2013 period. He has been a member of the Steering Committee of The European Platform on Advanced Materials and Technologies (EUMAT) since 2013 and of the Operational Management Board of the European Materials Characterization Council since 2016.

Candidate's Statement

Whenever I attend MRS meetings, I am impressed by the lively spirit of the meetings and by the solid scientific and technical content of the talks and poster presentations. To me, MRS Spring and Fall meetings are the “place to be”, to meet colleagues and friends from all over the world and to exchange and discuss original research results and innovative ideas in the field of materials science and engineering. I am convinced that the success of MRS meetings is due to the unique concept of bringing in new meeting chairs and symposium organizers each time. As a result, the meeting programs always address the latest and most important trends in the field of materials. As a mark of my appreciation of the efforts of the large number of volunteers who form the backbone of our Society, I want to contribute actively to further strengthening MRS as a global professional society with a stalwart reputation.

The world is facing significant challenges in terms of technological and socio-economic developments, many of them related to limited resources. Moving towards a more sustainable society requires innovations that improve the properties of materials and the performance of products. It is imperative for us to develop and introduce substitute materials for a wide range of applications. This requires a concerted effort from all members of our Society, from all regions of the world. At the same time, close collaboration and targeted interactions between MRS and other regional and national materials societies and organizations is also necessary. If elected as MRS Board Member, I would contribute to the MRS goal of bringing the global materials community more closely together. We need to use the specific strengths of materials scientists and engineers from all regions of the world to create smart solutions as our response to global technological and socio-economic challenges. Let us walk together on this path towards a more sustainable future!

Both society and industry are under increasing pressure to utilize material resources more efficiently. This demand forces us, scientists and engineers, to develop and to introduce advanced materials and novel manufacturing technologies. In this process, materials characterization is crucial along the entire value and innovation chain, from fundamental materials science up to volume manufacturing of products for the market. Moreover, the performance and reliability of these products will vary depending on the particular use-case. Such materials-driven product development and innovation require thorough knowledge of the interplay between the structure and microstructure of materials, their properties, and the manufacturing process. To generate the required knowledge, modeling and materials characterization will continue to play a pivotal and irreplaceable role. If elected as MRS Board Member, I would promote a vigorous exchange of knowledge as well as intensive cooperation between and among all stakeholders for whom materials characterization is relevant, comprising universities, research and technology organizations, equipment manufacturers and industrial end-users. This dialog between representatives from the whole spectrum of the materials characterization community will create new ideas in non-sequential materials research and development up to the moment when a new product or service generates revenue. The goal will be to shorten the period of time from academic discovery to marketable products and services, a process that now typically takes about 10 years and more. For this task I will make use of my considerable experience along the whole value and innovation chain for materials. I have lived through the excitement of new discoveries in the university lab, have successfully developed engineering solutions to integrate advanced materials into systems and also launched industrial products that have proven themselves in the market. We must accelerate the transformation of scientific findings into useful innovations!