The Research Group Leaders, their selection, and the vision of the structure fulfilling the goals of NOMATEN both as regards the Teaming phase 2 and IRAP center the strategy for the development of the NOMATEN research activities on the groups that are defined in the following. The structure of the groups follows a natural division of the relative focus areas of the groups such that NOMATEN will cover well all the areas of functional materials research locally – the principle of self-sufficiency. This means that the groups are able to develop among themselves important research themes without always being reliant on external collaborations – at least a NOMATEN group should be able to gain access to external experience to assist the others in the execution of research goals and agenda. Likewise, the choice of group research areas will make it easier to cover the Technology Readiness Levels from basic research to applications including collaborating with the industry. Naturally with NOMATEN there are specific measures for the latter, the Industry Liaison Group and the CoE Operations Director. The interaction will also benefit from the aid of the NOMATEN consortium partners, CEA and VTT in the long run.


NOMATEN Research Group Structure

The initial call for the RGLs will focus on the recruitment for the leaders for the following groups, with brief motivations and explanations.

  1. Radiopharmaceuticals – this group is necessary for one of the key directions of NOMATEN, and for the collaboration with CEA and VTT.
  2. Material synthesis - the RGL is expected to carry out research in state-of-the art functional materials such as High Entropy Alloys and advanced steels (Oxide Dispersion Strengthened ones serve as an example). The Research Agenda of the group should have as an emphasis collaborative research on the development of these materials in collaboration with NOMATEN, the consortium partners and other advanced collaborators. This is since for the experimental activities this group should be able to develop some key materials “in house” and be able to connect to leading partner and other groups for providing samples and establishing collaborations.
  3. Functional properties of materials – there are a number of properties that will be of importance in these materials and the group will play a key role in understanding how they are related to the material microsctructure. The qualities of materials range from heat resistance and thermal insulation to mechanical properties as friction to resistance to chemical environments and radiation and finally to their combined multiphysics effects. An example is the degradation of mechanical properties by corrosion or radiation. This group has also potential industrial applications.
  4. Analytics and characteriztion - quantifying the properties of material samples after synthesis and after testing (previous group) is of great importance. Most of the standard techniques will available in-house, and others (Transmission Electron Microscopy) will be available via external partners including VTT and CEA in the consortium. One aspect where this will be very important is in the experiment-model interface, where detailed microscopic information is needed for model verification and justification. Characterizing advanced functional materials may also be important for high-end customers.

With respect to Modelling - NOMATEN will work on the understanding of functional material properties from the atomistic scale. There will be two groups dividing the spatial and temporal scales of interest. This direction is quite important in general, in the context of collaborating with the NOMATEN consortium partners and in international materials efforts, and also for having cutting edge ambitions in materials design.

  1. The RG Structure and function will carry out research on multifunctional materials based on advanced computational models ranging from the ab initio scale to molecular dynamics. The group is expected to collaborate and sometimes lead the development of these materials in concert with other NOMATEN activities. This includes modelling on meso- and macroscale of how the material structure on scales from atoms to nanometers impacts its properties.
  2. The group Complex properties of materials of the NOMATEN Director will concentrate initially on three aspects. One is mesoscopic material modelling in concert with the other group (multiscale and multiphysics aspects) and with other partners (consortium, elsewhere).  One person will be hired at the start to develop multiscale models of material yielding in complex alloys (HEAs). Another direction is the statistical characterization of complex materials (HEAs, ODS etc.) to be able to develop predictive tools of materials that have outstanding properties. This work will build upon the Director’s recent research activities in Machine Learning techniques in this context. The third immediate research direction is on the long-term mechanical properties of multifunctional materials. We will develop theories on time-dependent fracture relevant for crack propagation and life-time prediction including the use of Non-Destructive testing for failure prediction. These topics have both basic research goals but are relevant eventually for industrial applications.