Allgemeine Werkstoffeigenschaften
Werkstoffwissenschaften  —  Technische Fakultät  —  Friedrich-Alexander Universität  —  UnivIS  —  Wiki
PD Dr.-Ing. Benoit Merle
Gruppenleiter / Akademischer Oberrat
Nanomechanik und Dünnschichten
Raum IZNF 02.170 Telefon +49 9131 85-70456
  • Cu/Fe Nanolayered Composites for High Strength Applications
  • Untersuchung lokaler mechanischer Eigenschaften anhand von Mikrodruckversuchen
  • Micromechanical characterization of superplasticity and related phenomena
  • Mikroskopische Ursachen für Risswachstum
  • Grenzflächen-dominiertes Ermüdungsverhalten dünner Schichten
  • Mikromechanische Verschleißmechanismenanalyse des Feststoffschmiermediums MoS2
  • Mechanische Eigenschaften verformungsinduzierter Grenzflächen in Medium- und Hochentropischen Legierungssystemen
  • Lebenslauf

    Scientific Career

    Benoit Merle is an expert in nanomechanical testing. He graduated with distinction from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in France in 2005. After spending a few years as an engineer with Siemens AG, he joined the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg to pursue a PhD on the mechanical behavior of thin films. He obtained his doctorate degree (Dr.-Ing.) with distinction in 2013 (advisor: Prof. M. Göken) and went on to establish the nanomechanics group which he currently leads. He spent the summer 2018 at Texas A&M university on an extended research stay with Prof. George Pharr. Back in Erlangen, he completed his habilitation (Dr.-Ing. habil.) in the field of materials science in May 2019.

    Research Focus

    Benoit Merle has a strong research focus on the mechanical characterization of materials in small dimensions by nanoindentation, micromechanical testing and in-situ testing in the electron and atomic force microscopes. He is an expert at developing novel testing methods and applying them to various material systems. He also has a strong background in the fabrication and characterization of thin films and coatings. His current projects are connected to small-scale fatigue, nanotribology and nanoindentation at high strain rates.


    He is the author or co-author of >40 publications in international peer-reviewed journals - as listed below - and has also given numerous invited presentations (TMS, DPG, ESMC...) and organized 5 symposia at major international conferences (ICMCTF, E-MRS). He is the lead guest editor of a 2021 special issue on nanomechanical testing of the Journal of Materials Research. The quality of his work has been acknowledged by the young researcher awards that he has received from the German materials society (DGM) and the Staedtler Foundation. He has also received 3 teaching awards for his lectures at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg and has been a member of the graduate program committee of the nanotechnology curriculum since 2015. In 2020, he was awarded a prestigious ERC Starting Grant by the European research Council.



    • Merle B., Higgins W.H., Pharr G.M. Extending the Range of Constant Strain Rate Nanoindentation Testing. (2020) Journal of Materials Research, 35(4), pp. 343-352. Open access view This paper was highlighted by the MRS society

    • Kabir A., Han J. K., Merle B., Esposito V. The Role of Oxygen Defects on the Electro-Chemo-Mechanical Properties of Highly Defective Gadolinium Doped Ceria. (2020) Materials Letters, 266, pp. 127490. View at publisher

    • Gabel S., Merle B. Small-scale high-cycle fatigue testing by dynamic microcantilever bending. (2020) MRS Communications, 10(2), pp. 332-337. Open access view

    • Krauß S., Schieß T., Göken M., Merle B. Revealing the local fatigue behavior of bimodal copper laminates by micropillar fatigue tests. (2020) Materials Science and Engineering A, 788, pp. 139502. View at publisher

    • Kabir A., Cachaza M.E., Firodaliso E.M., Ke D., Grasso S., Merle B., Esposito V. Effect of Cold Sintering Process (CSP) on the Electro-Chemo-Mechanical Properties of Gd-doped Ceria (GDC). (2020) Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 40 (15), pp. 5612-5618. View at publisher

    • Marian M., Song G.C., Wang B., Fuenzalida V.M., Krauß S., Merle B., Tremmel S., Wartzack S., Yu J., Rosenkranz A. Effective usage of 2D MXene nanosheets as solid lubricant–Influence of contact pressure and relative humidity. (2020) Applied Surface Science, p. 147311. View at publisher

    • Feldner P., Merle B., Göken M. Breakdown of the superplastic deformation behavior of heterogeneous nanomaterials at small length scales. (2020) Materials Research Letters, 9 (1), pp.41-49. Open access view


    • Merle B., Higgins W.H., Pharr G.M. Critical Issues in Conducting Constant Strain Rate Nanoindentation Tests at Higher Strain Rates. (2019) Journal of Materials Research, 34(20), pp. 3495-3503. Open access view

    • Merle B. Creep Behavior of Gold Thin Films Investigated by Bulge Testing at Room and Elevated Temperature. (2019) Journal of Materials Research, 34(1), pp. 69-77. Open access view

    • Hou X., Krauß S., Merle B. Additional grain boundary strengthening in length-scale architectured copper with ultrafine and coarse domains. (2019) Scripta Materialia, 165(1), pp. 55-59. View at publisher

    • Böhm C.F., Feldner P., Merle B., Wolf S.E. Conical nanoindentation allows azimuthally independent hardness determination in geological and biogenic minerals. (2019) Materials, 12(10), pp. 1630. Open access view

    • Bykov M., Chariton S., Fei H., Fedotenko T., Aprilis G., Ponomareva A., Tasnádi F., Abrikosov I., Merle B., Feldner P., Vogel S., Schnick W., Prakapenka V., Greenberg E., Hanfland M., Pakhomova A., Liermann H.P., Katsura T., Dubrovinskaia N., Dubrovinsky L. High-pressure synthesis of ultraincompressible hard rhenium nitride pernitride Re2(N2)(N)2 stable at ambient conditions. (2019) Nature Communications, 10, pp. 2994. Open access view

    • Fischer C., Merle B., Drummer D. Achieving homogeneous properties for thin-walled components through dynamic temperature control. (2019) Journal of Plastics Technology, 15(5), pp. 354-368. Open access view

    • Tinoco H.A., Hutař P., Merle B., Göken M., Kruml T. Fracture Toughness Evaluation of a Cracked Au Thin Film by Applying a Finite Element Analysis and Bulge Test. (2019) Key Engineering Materials, 827, pp. 192-202. View at publisher

    • Preiß E.I., Lyu H., Bitzek E., Liebig J.P., Richter G., Gannott F., Gruber P.A., Göken M., Merle B. Microstructural Dependence of the Fracture Toughness of Metallic Thin Films: A Bulge Test Study on Single Crystalline and Polycrystalline Silver Films. (2019) Journal of Materials Research, 34(20), pp. 3483-3494. Open access view


    • Merle B., Höppel H.W. Microscale High-Cycle Fatigue Testing by Dynamic Micropillar Compression Using Continuous Stiffness Measurement. (2018) Experimental Mechanics, 58(3), pp. 465-474. View at publisher

    • Preiß E.I., Gannott F., Göken M., Merle B. Scaling of the fracture toughness of freestanding metallic thin films with the yield strength (2018) Materials Research Letters, 6(10), pp. 607-612. Open access view

    • Liebig J.P., Krauß S., Göken M., Merle B. Influence of stacking fault energy and dislocation character on slip transfer at coherent twin boundaries studied by micropillar compression. (2018) Acta Materialia, 154, pp. 261-272. View at publisher

    • Khansur N.H., Eckstein U., Benker L., Deisinger U., Merle B., Webber K.G. Room temperature deposition of functional ceramic films on low-cost metal substrate. (2018) Ceramics International, 44, pp. 16295-16301. View at publisher

    • Feldner P., Merle B., Göken M. Superplastic deformation behavior of Zn-22% Al alloy investigated by nanoindentation at elevated temperatures. (2018) Materials & Design, 153, pp. 71-79. View at publisher

    • Merle B., Kraus X., Tallawi M., Scharfe B., El Fray M., Aifantis K.E., Boccaccini A.R., Göken M. Dynamic Mechanical Characterization of Poly(Glycerol Sebacate)/Poly(Butylene Succinate-Butylene Dilinoleate) Blends for Cardiac Tissue Engineering by Flat Punch Nanoindentation. (2018) Materials Letters, 221, pp.115-118. View at publisher


    • Merle B., Maier-Kiener V., Pharr G. M. Influence of modulus-to-hardness ratio and harmonic parameters on continuous stiffness measurement during nanoindentation. (2017) Acta Materialia, 134, pp. 167-176. View at publisher

    • Mikschl F., Merle B., Baum M., Heberle J., Göken M., Schmidt M. Micromechanical characterization of laser consolidated nanoparticle ITO layers. (2017) Thin Solid Films, 642, pp. 214-18. View at publisher

    • Ghanem M., Göken M., Merle B. Plane-strain bulge testing of thin films under compressive residual stresses. (2017) Surface and Coatings Technology, 327, pp. 167-173. View at publisher

    • Vierneusel B., Benker L., Tremmel S., Göken M., Merle B. Isolating the effect of residual stresses on coating wear by a mechanical stress relaxation technique. (2017) Thin Solid Films, 638, pp. 159-166. View at publisher

    • Shrestha S., Fischer R., Matt G. J., Feldner P., ... Merle B., ... Brabec C. High-performance direct conversion X-ray detectors based on sintered hybrid lead triiodide perovskite wafers. (2017) Nature Photonics, 11(7), 436-440. View at publisher

    • Preiß E. I., Merle B., Göken M. Understanding the Extremely Low Fracture Toughness of Freestanding Gold Thin Films by In-situ Bulge Testing in an AFM (2017) Materials Science and Engineering: A, 691, pp. 218-225. View at publisher

    • Feldner P., Merle B., Göken M. Determination of the strain-rate sensitivity of ultrafine-grained materials by spherical nanoindentation (2017) Journal of Materials Research, 32(8), pp. 1466-1473. View at publisher

    • Fischer C., Seefried A., Merle B., Göken M., Drummer D. Influencing hardness and wear during the dynamic tempered microinjection molding process by considering isothermal holding time (2017) Polymer Engineering and Science, 57 (2), pp. 121-128. View at publisher


    • Merle B., Nicholson K.S., Herbert E.G., Göken M. An improved method for point deflection measurements on rectangular membranes (2016) Materials and Design, 109, pp. 485-491. View at publisher

    • Ast J., Merle B., Durst K., Göken M. Fracture toughness evaluation of NiAl single crystals by microcantilevers - A new continuous J-integral method (2016) Journal of Materials Research, 31 (23), pp. 3786-3794. View at publisher or full text on OPUS

    • Liebig J.P., Göken M., Richter G., Mačković M., Przybilla T., Spiecker E., Pierron O.N., Merle B. A flexible method for the preparation of thin film samples for in situ TEM characterization combining shadow-FIB milling and electron-beam-assisted etching (2016) Ultramicroscopy, 171, pp. 82-88. View at publisher

    • Javed H., Merle B., Preiß E., Hivet R., Benedetto A., Göken M. Mechanical characterization of metallic thin films by bulge and scratch testing (2016) Surface and Coatings Technology, 289, pp. 69-74. View at publisher


    • Merle B., Cassel D., Göken M. Time-dependent deformation behavior of freestanding and SiNx-supported gold thin films investigated by bulge tests (2015) Journal of Materials Research, 30 (14), pp. 2161-2169. View at publisher or full text on OPUS


    • Merle B., Göken M. Bulge fatigue testing of freestanding and supported gold films (2014) Journal of Materials Research, 29 (2), pp. 267-276. View at publisher or full text on OPUS

    • Merle B., Maier V., Durst K. Experimental and theoretical confirmation of the scaling exponent 2 in pyramidal load displacement data for depth sensing indentation (2014) Scanning, 36 (5), pp. 526-529. Open access view


    • Maier V., Merle B., Göken M., Durst K. An improved long-term nanoindentation creep testing approach for studying the local deformation processes in nanocrystalline metals at room and elevated temperatures (2013) Journal of Materials Research, 28 (9), pp. 1177-1188. View at publisher or full text on OPUS

    • Tallawi M., Rai R., R-Gleixner M., Roerick O., Weyand M., Roether J.A., Schubert D.W., Kozlowska A., Fray M.E., Merle B., Göken M., Aifantis K., Boccaccini A.R. Poly(glycerol sebacate)poly(butylene succinate-dilinoleate) blends as candidate materials for cardiac tissue engineering (2013) Macromolecular Symposia, 334 (1), pp. 57-67. View at publisher


    • Merle B., Maier V., Göken M., Durst K. Experimental determination of the effective indenter shape and ε-factor for nanoindentation by continuously measuring the unloading stiffness (2012) Journal of Materials Research, 27 (1), pp. 214-221. View at publisher or full text on OPUS

    • Merle B., Schweitzer E.W., Göken M. Thickness and grain size dependence of the strength of copper thin films as investigated with bulge tests and nanoindentations (2012) Philosophical Magazine, 92 (25-27), pp. 3172-3187. View at publisher

    • Durst K., Rehman H.U., Merle B. Comment to paper "penetration depth and tip radius dependence on the correction factor in nanoindentation measurements" by J.M. Meza et al. [J. Mater. Res. 23(3), 725 (2008)] (2012) Journal of Materials Research, 27 (8), pp. 1205-1207. View at publisher

    • Meszaros R., Merle B., Wild M., Durst K., Göken M., Wondraczek L. Effect of thermal annealing on the mechanical properties of low-emissivity physical vapor deposited multilayer-coatings for architectural applications (2012) Thin Solid Films, 520 (24), pp. 7130-7135. View at publisher


    • Merle B., Göken M.Fracture toughness of silicon nitride thin films of different thicknesses as measured by bulge tests (2011) Acta Materialia, 59 (4), pp. 1772-1779. View at publisher or use preprint

    • Meszaros R., Wild M., Merle B., Wondraczek L. Flexural strength of PVD coated float glass for architectural applications (2011) Glass Technology: European Journal of Glass Science and Technology Part A, 52 (6), pp. 190-196. View at publisher

    Recorded presentations

    Researcher identifiers

    Current Research Projects as principal investigator

    Group pictures

    Nanomechanics Group in 2020 (Canoeing along the Wiesent river)

    Nanomechanics Group in 2020 (Canoeing along the Wiesent river)

    Nanomechanics Group in 2019 (Rickshaw riding at lake Brombach)
    Nanomechanics Group in 2019 (Rickshaw riding at lake Brombach)

    Nanomechanics Group in 2018 (Aerial adventure park)
    Nanomechanics Group in 2018 (Aerial adventure park)

    Nanomechanics Group in 2017 (Disco-golf)
    Nanomechanics Group in 2017 (Disco-golf)

    Nanomechanics Group in 2016 (Escape room)
    Nanomechanics Group in 2016 (Escape room)

    Nanomechanics Group in 2015 (Segway)
    Nanomechanics Group in 2015 (Segway)

    Nanomechanics Group in 2014 (Canoeing)
    Nanomechanics Group in 2014 (Canoeing)