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IMT 01-21 Bachelor or Master Thesis: Braille display using magnetic shape memory alloys

Organizational unit

Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT)

Job description

Smart materials are characterized by their multifunctional properties, in particular, sensing and actuation functions. Important examples are shape memory alloys,(SMAs), piezoelectrics, as well as multiferroic materials. These materials show large abrupt changes of their physical properties near phase transformations. At SMD (Smart materials and Devices) research group, we use these properties for the development of novel smart actuator-sensor systems.

A refreshable braille display is an electro-mechanical device for displaying braille characters, usually by means of round-tipped pins raised through holes in a flat surface. Currently, there is an urgent need to improve the pin density and performance of braille displays for visually impaired computer users who cannot use a standard computer monitor. The purpose of the present project is to design, implement and test a novel thermo-magnetic actuation mechanism for Braille displays, which is potentially more compact than previous solutions. The actuation mechanism utilizes the large temperature-dependent change of magnetization in a magnetic shape memory alloy layer. This interdisciplinary work covers the different fields of materials science, mechanical and electronic engineering. The focus of the work can be adjusted to the interests and competences of the applicant in a direct interview.

Your Tasks:

  • Characterization of material properties (structure, mechanical, thermal, magnetic)
  • Modelling, design and simulation (FEM multiphysics, Lumped Element Modelling)
  • Rapid prototyping (Optical lithography, 3D Printing, Laser technology)
  • Characterization of demonstrator variants (thermo-mechanical, electrical properties)
  • To carry out the work, the IMT has extensive state-of-the-art equipment including a 600-m² clean room, rapid prototyping processes such as 3D printing and laser cutting, assembly and joining technology laboratories, as well as various metrological laboratories.

Further information on the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT):

Starting date

as soon as possible

Personal qualification

We are looking for ambitious, creative and self-motivated people who enjoy working in a multidisciplinary and international team.

Field of study: Mechanical / electrical engineering, Physics, related disciplines

Contract Duration

4-6 Months

Contact person in line-management

M.Sc. Joel Joseph, IMT,
+49 721 608-22767 (e-mail:

Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number IMT 01-21.

Ausschreibungsnummer: IMT 01-21

Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.


Personnel Support is provided by:
Ms Schaber
Phone: +49 721 608-25184,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany