Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniel Kiener

Function: Group Leader
Room: 412
Phone: +43 (0) 3842-804-412
E-Mail: daniel.kiener(at)



Micro- and Nanomechanics and Micro- and Nanostructure Characterization

When the material grain size or the sample volume itself are reduced to the micron- and sub-micron regime, significant size effects on the mechanical properties arise due to the increased contribution of surfaces and interfaces. We aim to derive a mechanistic understanding of the interplay between sample or microstructure size, the presence of individual microstructural elements such as interfaces, grain boundaries or dislocations, and the resulting global material properties. This is achieved by a combination of sophisticated methods such as highly localized and miniaturized quantitative experiments performed within high-resolution electron microscopy techniques, temperature- and rate dependent thermo-mechanical microstructure analysis, and advanced nanoindentation techniques. Various interests in the field of Micro- and Nanomechanics concern:

  • Miniaturized testing techniques (compression, tension, bending, fracture, fatigue, ...)
  • Small scale sample preparation techniques
  • Quantitative electron microscopy
  • Size effects influencing material properties
  • Dislocation plasticity in confined volumes
  • Deformation mechanisms in nanoscale or nanostructured materials (slip, twinning, grain boundaries)
  • Irradiation resistant materials by microstructural design
  • Temperature dependent deformation mechanisms of single crystal and nanocrystalline fcc and bcc metals
  • Thermal fatigue behavior and microstructural stability of metallic thin films
  • Local depth-dependent residual stresses in complex layered structures
  • Fracture processes and properties of small structures and multilayers
  • Deformation mechanisms in hexagonal metals
  • Temperature dependent deformation mechanisms in nanoporous materials



Size effects influencing material properties, dislocation plasticity in confined volumes, temperature and irradiation dependent deformation, thermal fatigue and fracture of small-scale structures and multilayers, in-situ micromechanical testing in the SEM, in-situ nanomechanical testing in the TEM, advanced nanoindentation techniques, digital image correlation methods


  • In situ micromechanical experiments in the SEM
  • In situ nanomechanical testing in the TEM
  • Broad ion beam and FIB based material structuring
  • Advanced nanoindentation techniques (e.g. elevated temperatures, rate dependencies)
  • Digital image correlation techniques to measure local deformations and microstructural evolution
  • Local determination of residual stresses with high depth resolution
  • Miniaturized fracture testing in the SEM and TEM
  • Novel laser-based fast thermo-mechanical heating/cycling techniques



In-situ an In-operando Characterization Techniques in Materials Science (In-situ und in-operando Charakterisierungstechniken in der Werkstoffwissenschaft), Materialphysik I and III, Wissenschaftliche Arbeiten in der Materialphysik


  • Introduction to Materials Science
  • Materials Characterization
  • Materials Physics I
  • Materials Physics III
  • Exercises to Materials Physics
  • In-situ and in-operando characterization techniques in material science
  • Exercises to In-situ and in-operando characterization techniques in material science
  • Seminar Bachelor Thesis
  • Seminar Master Thesis
  • Scientific Work in Materials Physics


  • Reversible cyclic deformation mechanism of gold nanowires by twinning–detwinning transition evidenced from in situ TEM
    S. Lee, J. Im, Y. Yoo, E. Bitzek, D. Kiener, G. Richter, B. Kim, S.H. Oh
    nature communications5:3033, 1-10 (2014)
  • Understanding nanoscale plasticity using quantitative in-situ TEM
    D. Kiener
  • Mechanical testing of micron and sub-micron samples using in-situ electron microscopy
    D. Kiener
    , 239-244 (2013)
  • Influence of bulk pre-straining on the size effect in nickel compression pillars
    K.D. Schneider A.S.
    Materials Science & Engineering A, 147-158 (2013)
  • Application of small-scale testing for investigation of ion-beam-irradiated materials
    M.A.M. Kiener Daniel
    Journal of Materials Research, 2724-2736 (2012)
  • Strength, Hardening, and Failure Observed by In Situ TEM Tensile Testing
    K.P. Kiener Daniel
    Advanced Engineering Materials, 960-967 (2012)
  • Issues to consider using nano indentation on shallow ion beam irradiated materials
    K.D. Hosemann Peter
    Journal of Nuclear Materials, 136-139 (2012)
  • Sample Preparation by Metallography and Focused Ion Beam for Nanomechanical Testing
    F.H. Moser Gabriele
    Practical Metallography, 343-355 (2012)
  • Yield and plastic flow of soft metals in small volumes loaded in tension and flexure
    G.J.U. Dunstan D.J.
    Philosophical Magazine, 3199-3215 (2012)
  • Advanced nanomechanics in the TEM: effects of thermal annealing on FIB prepared Cu samples
    Z.Z. Kiener Daniel
    Philosophical Magazine, 3269-3289 (2012)