Project Leader:  Marlene Kapp


Project Team:

Marlene Kapp

Michael Zawotzki



Due to their exceptional properties, metallic nanomaterials have been widely studied in the past decades and several phenomena not accessible in the conventional grain size regime have been reported. However, their origins as well as general conclusions regarding grain size dependencies of properties, deformation and failure behavior still remain controversially discussed. The main reason for the contradictory results is that properties of nanometals not only depend on the grain size but can be affected by several other variables as well. Relaxation of defects or segregation of solutes to the interfaces could strongly affect properties. As independent of the synthesis process these variables need to be changed to alter the grain size, intrinsic grain size effects of nanocrystalline materials have remained uncertain.


The REVEAL project aims to develop an innovative approach that allows for the first time to overcome these difficulties and enables processing of nanomaterials with varying grain size without changing their relaxation state or chemistry. This will become possible by using hydrogen as a temporary but reversible alloying element that allows to adjust nanostructures with different grain sizes at identical processing temperatures by severe plastic deformation. After the synthesis process, hydrogen desorption will leave clean samples with different grain sizes behind, and thus allow to unambiguously separate grain size from other effects such as segregated solutes.


Stay up to date

  • September 2023: World record: Reversible hydrogen-alloying enables 12 GPa hardness in nanostructured iron.Whata wonderful finish for this exciting and innovative project!
  • August 2023: Marlene and Michael reveal decelerated grain growth in low-angle nanostructures induced by hydrogen
  • July 2023: Marlene impresses with recent results about H-alloying in nanostructured iron at the Thermec conference in Vienna
  • May 2023: Michael succeeds in using CHPT as an in-situ measurement tool for hydrogen in nanostructured iron
  • April 2023: Michael Zawotzki joins the team and takes over Monika Antoni’s responsibilities of H-charging, HPT deformation and structural characterization.
  • September 2022: Marlene is invited to a workshop in Paris. Bonjour!
  • July 2022: Marlene Kapp takes over project lead
  • July 2022: Oliver Renk receives new position as group leader at Chair of Physical Metallurgy at University of Leoben. Congrats!
  • June 2022: Oliver, Marlene & Monika present newest results at ICSMA in Metz
  • April 2022: Marlene gives a talk at the Arlberg Kolloquium on ‘Inhomogenous grain refinement by hydrogen during high pressure torsion’
  • April 2022: Monika Antoni joins the team to support Marlene with experimental duties during maternity leave
  • March 2022: Marlene gives an online talk on ‘H-effects during HPT deformation of nanostructured materials’ at TMS hybdrid conference
  • September 2020: Marlene Kapp starts as principal investigator in REVEAL
  • March 2020: Congratulations to Oliver Renk for the ÖAW innovation grant REVEAL


This project has received funding from the Austrian Academy of Science under the Innovations Fonds (IF_2019_37).


Project Duration




All publications and download-links can be found on orcid

and Researchgate Marlene Kapp (