The approach to understanding phase transformations has to be of both micro- and macroscopical character. Apart from understanding transformation mechanisms on an atomic scale, the challenge is to use the detailed microstructural knowledge in building 'mesoscopical' transformation models. Computer simulations of diffusion and phase transformations will be indispensable.
The department is "experiment driven". Research of the type as described here requires powerful experimental methods to characterise the (changing) microstructure of materials. The department excels in the application of X-ray diffraction methods, surface analytical and calorimetric and dilatometric methods. Methodological research will also always be an important part of our research activity.