Report on the Electroceramics XVII conference

Electroceramics XVII was organized online from 24 to 28 August 2020 by the Materials Science Department of the Technische Universität Darmstadt in collaboration with the European Ceramic Society.

The biennial Electroceramics conference series was established in the late 1980s and represents one of the central international platforms for academic and industrial researchers to discuss and share the recent developments, discoveries, and emerging trends in the field of electroceramic materials and applications. 

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the organisers had to cancel the physical conference in Darmstadt, Germany but nevertheless, they decided that the Electroceramics XVII conference would be organized as the first all-virtual version of this biannual meeting in order to share research and stay connected during these insecure times. 

And it was a good gamble as, at the end, there were 325 registered participants from 41 countries (78 % from Europe): 199 regular and 126 students. 

The conference covered the recent advancements in piezoelectrics, ferroelectrics, thermoelectrics, multiferroics, varistors, ion&mixed ionic-electronic conductors, and caloric materials for energy storage and conversion, actuators, sensors, transducers, communication, and other related applications.  252 presentations were made: 145 oral, 28 invited and 4 Keynotes and 70 posters presented. 

The Electroceramics XVII virtual conference was a combination of interactive presentations and on-demand content.

The 4 Plenary Speakers were:
  • Prof. Olivier Guillon - Research Center Jülich, Germany: "On the processing of electroceramics or the key to transfer materials synthesis into component manufacturing"
  • Prof. Philippe Ghosez - University of Liège, Belgium: "From first- to second-principles modelling of functional oxides"
  • Prof. Heli Jantunen - University of Oulu, Finland: "Integrations of Materials into Devices"
  • Prof. James M. LeBeau - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA: "Directly connecting local chemistry and structure to relaxor properties using electron microscopy"
A student Poster Contest was organized with the financial help of the JECS Trust. The 4 co-winners were:
Section “Energy Materials and Magnetism”:
  • Tobias Kutsch from RWTH Aachen, Germany - Poster: Synthesis optimization and ionic conductivity of lanthanum/barium oxyapatites La10-xBaxSi6O27-x/2 (0 ≤ x ≤ 2)
  • An-Sofie Kelchtermans from UHasselt, Belgium - Poster: Insights in the interaction between cathode active materials and a new generation solid electrolyte
Section “Ferroelectrics, Antiferroelectric & Multiferroics”:
  • Jan Schultheiẞ from NTNU, Norway - Poster: Conductivity mapping at Charged Domain Walls in  ErMnO3 under Alternating Voltages
  • Lyubov Gimadeeva from Ural Federal University, Russia - Poster: Study of transgranular domain structure in BaTIO3 Ceramics by high resolution methods

The first Electroceramics Young Researcher Award (EYRA) was also rewarded during this conference toLalitha Kodumudi Venkataraman from TUDarmstadt, Germany, for her contributions to the structural characterization and processing of new Bi-based piezoceramics. This Award will be given every 2 year, during the Electroceramics conference, in order to honour promising international young researchers in the field of Electroceramics.

Congratulations to the 5 of them!

The organisers tried to make the conference as friendly as possible and a welcome party as well as virtual coffee breaks were organized. Although we unfortunately didn´t find a way to provide the participants with real coffee, these breaks offered an opportunity to chat with other conference participants and meet new people face-to-face. We were also able to organize a group picture on the beach: