Crystal growth – experiences by MAP student Muhammad Abdullah during the MAP summer school 2017

Picture courtesy of Mikhail Trunov

The MAP summer school on crystal growth offered by Fraunhofer IISB, Erlangen and led by Dr. Jochen Friedrich was very intriguing and knowledgeable.

It was of interest to me particularly because of my materials science background. However, many chemical engineers also attended this seminar with great enthusiasm. The role of a crystal is generally underestimated. After attending the sessions on this topic, my viewpoint of looking at things has changed entirely. According to my understanding, the basic unit of a solid material on which the properties of the material would depend is a crystal. By choosing between single crystals to as many crystals as desired, different materials for different applications can be produced. Moreover, the grain structure plays a vital role for the properties of the crystal and one can certainly play around with it.

The structure and teaching methods made the MAP summer school very interesting:  a first introductory lecture at the beginning of the semester was followed by several presentations of small groups which had worked on different relevant topics rather at the end of the semester.

I participated in a small group working on the topic: “why do cars not drive without crystals?” I learnt amazing facts of the current and future trends in cars. The integrated circuit (IC) market has shown great potential for the automotive industry in recent years with major applications in sensors and actuators. The idea of autonomous driving is also based on the semi-conductors and wide bandgap (WBG) crystals. Apart from automotive industry, ideas on renewable energy were also discussed.

I would strongly recommend this seminar to anyone who is interested in current trends in (crystal growth) technology.

Author: Muhammad Abdullah