Research Area C will develop concepts for longevity of materials systems to ensure and promote their functionality for their defined lifetime. The persistence and maintenance of functionalities during an extended lifespan will be accomplished by integrating and compiling numerous system components at various (hierarchical) levels.
The goal is to achieve an artificial materials system that will function for a given lifetime under various changing environmental conditions and without battery or external wiring. These concepts of longevity will essentially be based on the interplay and conflation of indispensable principles responding to the requirements of long-living materials systems:
- intrinsic detection of systemic demands and prevention of damage by local strenghtening (training)
- autonomous response for restoring and repairing functions
- multi redundancy of systems components and design of degredation pathways
A central task will be to identify the most efficient approaches for “training”, “repair” and “redundancy”, selected from a panoply of options.
The approaches selected will depend on the specific functions of the system which need to be maintained and possibly reinforced. We aim to assure the longevity of functions like mechanical stability, (rapid) sensing and reflection of light as well as efficient ways of harvesting, converting and storing energy.