On November 7 – 10, a research assistant from ISSP UL’s Laboratory of Microscopy, Edgars Vanags, attended the Thin Film and Small Scale Mechanics course at Empa, Thun organized by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
The course began with a thorough review of materials microstructure and mechanics, setting the stage for a deep dive into the mechanics of solid thin films and small-scale structures. Stress evolution, size effects, and micromechanical sample preparation were covered, providing a nuanced understanding.
What made the experience exceptional was the emphasis on practical application. Example-intensive lectures seamlessly transitioned into hands-on experiences with state-of-the-art experimental techniques like nanoindentation and micropillar compression. Instrument demonstrations bridged the gap between theory and real-world application.
The course concluded with a focus on real-world applications, offering insights into assessing adhesion, residual stress, and tribological properties in thin films. The holistic approach, from fundamentals to applications will help the young researcher implement the acquired knowledge in his research at the ISSP UL.