Institute I: General Materials Properties
Dept. Materials Science  —   Faculty of Engineering  —  Friedrich-Alexander-University  —  UnivIS  —  Wiki
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Erik Bitzek
Group Leader Modeling & Simulation
Program Chair Elite Masters Program Advanced Materials and Processes (MAP)
Contact person for student exchange with the University of Tokyo
room 3.41 phone +49 9131 85-27507
  • Deformation and failure of amorphous materials
  • Modeling fracture on the atomic scale
  • Dynamic properties of dislocations
  • Modeling of Dislocation – Grain Boundary Interactions
  • Nanomechanics and Small-Scale Plasticity
  • Plastic deformation and failure of nanostructured metals
  • Multiscale modeling of FIB-induced damage
  • Atomistic simulations of fundamental dislocation processes in Ni-base superalloys
  • Dislocation Motion in Single-Phase High Entropy Alloys – Theory and Simulation
  • Plastic deformation in lightweight intermetallic composite materials
  • Mikroskopische Ursachen für Risswachstum
  • Finite element method simulation of single crystalline cantilever bending for fracture toughness measurement
  • cv

    Scientific Career:

    Erik Bitzek studied physics at the University Stuttgart where he received his Diploma (Dipl. Phys.) with distinction in 2000. After starting his PhD in the group of Prof. Eduard Arzt at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research (now MPI for Intelligent Systems) in Stuttgart, he moved in 2002 with his advisor, Prof. Peter Gumbsch, to the newly founded Institut für Zuverlässigkeit von Bauteilen und Systemen (now IAM-CMS) at the technical university Karlsruhe (now KIT), from where he obtained his doctorate degree (Dr.-Ing.) with distinction in 2006. During his first Postdoc in the group of Prof. Helena van Swygenhoven at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland he was also visiting scientist at the Ohio State University, USA, in the groups of Prof. Peter Anderson and Prof. Yunzhi Wang. His second Postdoc with Prof. Ju Li brought him to the University of Pennsylvania, USA, to which he stayed connected as visiting professor after being appointed at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in 2009 as assistant professor (“Juniorprofessor”). Since winter 2015 he is full professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Institute I. Since 2013 he is furthermore Chair of the international Elite Master’s Programme “Advanced Materials and Processes (MAP)”.
    Prof. Bitzek is co-initiator and 2. speaker of the research training group GRK2423 “Fracture across Scales” and member of the board of the research training group GRK1896 “In-Situ Microscopy with Electrons, X-rays and Scanning Probes” at FAU. He is PI in the SFB/TR103 Superalloy Single Crystals, SPP1594 Topological Engineering of Ultrastrong Glasses and part of the
    SPP2074 Fluidfreie Schmiersysteme mit hoher mechanischer Belastung and the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) Project Fracture Across Scales and Materials, Processes and Disciplines (FRAMED).

    Erik Bitzek serves the scientific community amongst others as member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Materials and the Journal of Molecular Modeling, as coordinator of the German part of the International Research Network (GDRI) “Mechanics of Nano-Objects” (MECANO), member of the Executive Committee of the conference series “Dislocations”, and co-initiator of the working group 3D Materials Data Science of the German Materials Research Society (DGM). He is also member of the Consortium of the Nationale Forschungsdaten Infrastruktur Initiative NFDI4MSE, the European Materials Modeling Council (EMMC), the European Materials Characterization Council (EMCC) and expert on “Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (AM&N) Modelling, Simulation and Design” for the LEIT programme of the European Commission. He furthermore serves as reviewer for the ERC, various organizations in Germany, Austria, Israel, Canada and the US, and for top-ranked journals in materials science and physics. He also has organized and co-organized more than 15 national and international workshops and symposia.

    He is author and co-author of more than 50 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, of one patent application and has given invited presentation at more than 50 international conferences, workshops and seminars. In 2008 his work was designated as “Outstanding Research by Promising Young Researchers in Mechanics and Materials” by the Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers, in 2009 he was awarded the Best Poster Award at the Gordon Research Conference on Physical Metallurgy and obtained in 2013 the starting grant of the Cluster of Excellence Engineering of Advanced Materials (EAM).

    In 2016 he was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for his project Microscopic Origins of Fracture Toughness (microKIc).


    Modeling and Simulation related to Mechanical Properties of Materials

    Recent and upcoming organised events

  • DPG Spring Meeting 2020, Dresden, Germany, Co-organizer of the Topical Session on Data-Driven Materials Science and Member of the organizing committee of the Metal and Material Physics division

  • ISAM4: The fourth International Symposium on Atomistic and Multiscale Modeling of Mechanics and Multiphysics of materials, August 5-8, 2019 at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Germany (co-organiser)

  • DGG-USTV: 93rd Annual Meeting of the German Society of Glass Technology in Conjunction with the Annual Meeting of French Union for Science and Glass Technology (USTV), 13th to 15th May 2019 at the Maritim Hotel Nürnberg, Germany (local organisation committee and symposium organisation)

  • In the media:

  • "Der Herr der Risse: Zerstoeren fuer die Wissenschaft", TV report in Franken-Fernsehen
  • "Realistic simulations reveal atomic-scale details responsible for superalloy properties", article in MRS Bulletin
  • "Superlegierungen", article in Chemie in unserer Zeit
  • "Simulation am Supercomputer", article in Maschine und Werkzeug
  • "Warum Dinge kaputt gehen" in Laborpraxis
  • "Simulation: Den Superkräften von Superlegierungen auf der Spur", article in
  • "Sinnvolle Zerstörung", Nürnberger Nachrichten, 17./18. Juni 2017


    1. S. Lee, A. Vaid, J. Im, B. Kim, A. Prakash, J. Guénolé, D. Kiener, E. Bitzek, S. H. Oh [2020], "In-situ observation of the initiation of plasticity by nucleation of prismatic dislocation loops", Nature Communications 11, 2367, Link to paper
    2. A. Kirchmayer, H. Lyu, M. Pröbstle, F. Houllé, A. Förner, M. Göken, P. J. Felfer, E. Bitzek, S. Neumeier [2020], "Combining Experiments and Atom Probe Tomography- Informed Simulations on γ´ Precipitation Strengthening in the Polycrystalline Ni-Base Superalloy A718Plus", Adv. Eng. Mater. 2000149 Link to paper
    3. Z. Xie, J. Shin, J. Renner, A. Prakash, D.S. Gianola, E. Bitzek [2020], "Origins of strengthening and failure in twinned Au nanowires: Insights from
      experiments and atomistic simulations" Acta Materialia 187,166-175 , Link to paper
    4. J. Guénolé, W.G. Nöhring, A. Vaid, F. Houllé, Z. Xie, A. Prakash, E. Bitzek [2020],"Assessment and optimization of the fast inertial relaxation engine (fire) for energy minimization in atomistic simulations and its implementation in LAMMPS", Comp. Mat. Sci. 175, 109584, Link to paper
    5. E.I. Preiß, H. Lyu, J.P. Liebig, G. Richter, F. Gannott, P.A. Gruber, M. Göken, E. Bitzek, B. Merle [2019], "Microstructural dependence of the fracture toughness of metallic thin films: A bulge test and atomistic simulation study on single-crystalline and polycrystalline silver films", Jour. Mater. Res. 34, 3483-3494, Link to paper
    6. L A. Vaid, J. Guénolé, A. Prakash, S. Korte-Kerzel, E. Bitzek [2019], "Atomistic Simulations of Basal Dislocations Interacting with Mg17Al12 Precipitates in Mg", Materialia 7, 100355, Link to paper
    7. J. J. Möller, E. Bitzek, R. Janisch, H. ul Hassan and A. Hartmaier [2018], “Fracture ab initio: A force-based scaling law for atomistically informed continuum models”, Jour. Mater. Res. 33, 3750, Link to paper
    8. J. J. Möller, M. Mrovec, I. Bleskov, J. Neugebauer, T. Hammerschmidt, R. Drautz, C. Elsässer, T. Hickel, and E. Bitzek [2018] "{110} planar faults in strained bcc metals: Origins and implications of a commonly observed artifact of classical potentials", Phys. Rev. Materials 2, 093606, Link to paper
    9. F. Houlle, F. Walsh, A. Prakash and E. Bitzek [2018] "Atomistic Simulations of Compression Tests on γ-Precipitate Containing Ni3Al Nanocubes", Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A 49, pp 4158–4166 Link to paper
    10. A. Prakash, D. Weygand and E. Bitzek [2017], "Influence of grain boundary structure and topology on the plastic deformation of nanocrystalline aluminum as studied by atomistic simulations", International Journal of Plasticity 97, 107-125 Link to paper
    11. J. Guénolé, A. Prakash and E. Bitzek [2017], "Atomistic simulations of focused ion beam machining of strained silicon", Applied Surface Science 416, 86-95 Link to paper
    12. A. Prakash, E. Bitzek [2017], "Idealized vs. Realistic Microstructures: An Atomistic Simulation Case Study on γ/γ′ Microstructures", Materials 10, 88 Link to paper
    13. J. Guénolé, A. Prakash and E. Bitzek [2016], "Influence of intrinsic strain on irradiation induced damage: the role of threshold displacement and surface binding energies", Materials and Design 111, 405-413 Link to paper
    14. M. Mačković, F. Niekiel, L. Wondraczek, E. Bitzek, E. Spiecker [2016], "In situ mechanical quenching of nanoscale silica spheres in the transmission electron microscope", Scripta Materialia 121, 70-74 Link to article
    15. W.G Nöhring, J.J Möller, Z. Xie, E. Bitzek [2016], Wedge-shaped twins and pseudoelasticity in fcc metallic nanowires under bending, Extreme Mechanics Letters 8 140-150 Link to paper
    16. A. Korsunsky, J. Guénolé, E. Salvati, T. Sui, Mahmoud Mousavi, A. Prakash and E. Bitzek [2016], "Quantifying eigenstrain distributions induced by focussed ion beam damage in silicon", Materials Letters 185, 47–49 Link to paper
    17. J. Bach, J.J. Möller, M. Göken, E. Bitzek, H.W. Höppel [2016], "On the transition from plastic deformation to crack initiation in the high-and very high-cycle fatigue regimes in plain carbon steels", International Journal of Fatigue 93, 281–291, Link to article
    18. J.J. Möller, E. Bitzek [2016], "BDA: A novel method for identifying defects in body-centered cubic crystals", Methods X 3, 279-288 Link to article
    19. A. Prakash, M. Hummel, S. Schmauder, E. Bitzek [2016], "NanoSCULPT: A methodology for generating complex realistic configurations for atomistic simulations", Methods X 3, 219-230 Link to article
    20. J. Luo, J. Wang, E. Bitzek, J. Y. Huang,H. Zheng, L. Tong, Q. Yang, J. Li, S.X. Mao [2016], "Size-Dependent Brittle-to-Ductile Transition in Silica Glass Nanofibers", Nano Letters 16, 105-113 Link to article
    21. F. Niekiel, E. Spiecker, E. Bitzek [2015], "Influence of anisotropic elasticity on the mechanical properties of fivefold twinned nanowires", Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 84 358 Link to article
    22. M. Schweiger, M. Schaudig, F. Gannott, M. S. Killian, E. Bitzek, P. Schmuki J. Zaumseil [2015], "Controlling the diameter of aligned single-walled carbon nanotubes on quartz via catalyst reduction time", Carbon 95, 452-459 Link to article
    23. A. Prakash, J. Guénolé, J. Wang, J. Müller, E. Spiecker, M.J. Mills, I. Povstugar, P. Choi, D. Raabe, E. Bitzek [2015], "Atom probe informed simulations of dislocation–precipitate interactions reveal the importance of local interface curvature", Acta Materialia 92 33 Link to article
      Featured in MRS Bulletin. The report can be accessed in its entirety here. It is also featured in a report in the June issue of the journal Chemie in unserer Zeit. The report can be accessed in its entirety here.
      It is also in the news at .
      This article is also among the
      10 hottest articles of Acta Materialia for the period April-June 2015
    24. A. Köbler, T. Beuth, T. Klöffel, R. Prang, M. Moosmann, T. Scherer, S. Walheim, H. Hahn, C. Kübel, B. Meyer, T. Schimmel, E. Bitzek [2015], Nanotwinned silver nanowires: Structure and mechanical properties, Acta Mater. 92 299 Link to article
      This article is also among the 25 hottest articles of the journal for the period April-June 2015.
    25. E. Bitzek, J. Kermode, P. Gumbsch [2015], "Atomistic aspects of fracture", International Journal of Fracture, 191 13-30 Link to article
    26. J.J. Möller, E. Bitzek [2015], "On the influence of crack front curvature on the fracture behavior of nanoscale cracks", Engineering Fracture Mechanics, in press, Link to article
    27. A. Prakash, W. Nöhring, R.A. Lebensohn, H.W. Höppel and E. Bitzek [2015], A multiscale simulation framework of the accumulative roll bonding process accounting for texture evolution, Mater. Sci. & Eng. A 631 104 Link to article
    28. T. Klöffel, E. Bitzek, B. Meyer [2015], Impact of twin boundarieson bulk elastic constants, Data in Brief 3 209 Link to article
    29. J.J. Möller, E. Bitzek [2014], "Fracture toughness and bond trapping of grain boundary cracks", Acta Materialia 73 1-11 Featured in the Sciencedirect TOP 25 list of most downloaded articles (ranked 5 of 25) for Acta Materialia in the period April - June 2014 Link to article
    30. J.J. Möller, E. Bitzek [2014], "Comparative study of embedded atom potentials for atomistic simulations of fracture in α-iron", Model. Simul. Mater. Sci. Eng. 22 045002 Link to article
    31. J. Amodeo, C. Begau, E. Bitzek [2014], Atomistic Simulations of Compression Tests on Ni3Al Nanocubes, Mater. Res. Lett. 2 140 Link to article
    32. D. Zahn, E. Bitzek [2014], "Shearing in a biomimetic apatite-protein composite: Molecular dynamics of slip zone formation, plastic flow, and backcreep mechanisms", PLOS ONE 9, e93309 (2014)Link to article
    33. F. Niekiel, E. Bitzek, E. Spiecker [2014], "Combining Atomistic Simulation and X-ray Diffraction for the Characterization of Nanostructures: A Case Study on Fivefold Twinned Nanowires", ACS Nano 8, 1629-1638 (2014) Link to article
    34. S. Lee, J. Im, Y. Yoo, E. Bitzek, D. Kiener, G. Richter, B. Kim, S. H. Oh [2014], "Reversible cyclic deformation mechanism of gold nanowires by twinning–detwinning transition evidenced from in situ TEM", Nat. Commun. 5 3033 Link to article
    35. E. Bitzek, P. Gumbsch [2013], “Mechanisms of Dislocation Multiplication at Crack Tips”, Acta Mater. 61 1394-1403 Link to article
    36. J. J. Möller, A. Prakash, E. Bitzek [2013], "FE2AT-finite element informed atomistic simulations", Modelling Simul. Mater. Sci. Eng. 21, 055011 Link to article
    37. J. Bach, H.W. Höppel, E. Bitzek, M. Göken [2013], "Influence of specimen geometry on temperature increase during ultrasonic fatigue testing", Ultrasonics 53, 1412-1416 Link to article
    38. A. Sedlmayr, E. Bitzek, D.S. Gianola, G. Richter, R. Mönig, O. Kraft, [2012], Existence of two twinning-mediated plastic deformation modes in Au nanowhiskers, Acta Mater. 60 3985 Link to article
    39. E. Bitzek [2012], Atomistic Study of Twinning in Gold Nanowhiskers, Journal of Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering 6 99 Link to article
    40. S. Sarkar, J. Li, W.T. Cox, E. Bitzek, T.J. Lenosky, Y.Z. Wang [201], "Finding activation pathway of coupled displacive-diffusional defect processes in atomistics: Dislocation climb in fcc copper", Phys. Rev. B 86 014115 Link to article
    41. J. Li, S. Sarkar, W.T. Cox, T.J. Lenosky, E. Bitzek, Y.Z. Wang [2011], "Diffusive molecular dynamics and its application to nanoindentation and sintering", Phys. Rev. B. 84, 054103 Link to article
    42. Y. Cheng, E. Bitzek, D. Weygand, A. Walcker, P Gumbsch [2010], "Atomistic simulation of dislocation-void interactions under cyclic loading", Modelling Simul. Mater. Sci. Eng. 18, 025006 Link to article
    43. E. Bitzek, C. Brandl, D. Weygand, PM. Derlet, and H. Van Swygenhoven [2009], Atomistic simulation of a dislocation shear loop interacting with grain boundaries in nanocrystalline aluminium, Model. Simul. Mater. Sci. Eng. 17 055008 Link to article
    44. L. Li, P. M. Anderson, MG. Lee, E. Bitzek, PM Derlet, and H. Van Swygenhoven [2009], The Stress-Strain Response of Nanocrystalline Metals: A Quantized Crystal Plasticity Approach, Acta Mater. 57 812 Link to article
    45. E. Bitzek, P. M Derlet, P. M Anderson and H. Van Swygenhoven [2008], The Stress-Strain Response of Nanocrystalline Metals: A Statistical Analysis of Atomistic Simulations, Acta Mater. 56 4846 Link to article
    46. E. Bitzek, C. Brandl, P. M. Derlet, and H. Van Swygenhoven [2008], Dislocation cross-slip in nanocrystalline fcc metals, Phys. Rev. Lett. 100 235501 Link to article
    47. E.Bitzek, P. Gumbsch [2008], "Atomistic Simulations of Dislocation - Crack Interaction", Jour. Solid Mech. Mater. Eng. 2, 1348-1359 Link to article
    48. C. Brandl, E. Bitzek, P. M. Derlet, and H. Van Swygenhoven [2007], Slip transfer through a general high angle grain boundary in nanocrystalline aluminium, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91 111914 Link to article
    49. E. Bitzek, P. Koskinen, M. Moseler, F. Gähler, P. Gumbsch [2006], "Structural Relaxation Made Simple", Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 170201 Link to article
    50. J. Hagelaar, E. Bitzek, C. Flipse, P. Gumbsch [2006], "Atomistic Simulations of the Formation and Destruction of Nanoindentation Contacts in Tungsten", Phys. Rev. B 73, 045425 Link to article
    51. E. Bitzek, P. Gumbsch [2005], "Dynamic aspects of dislocation motion: atomistic simulations",
      Mater. Sci. Eng. A 400, 40-44
      Link to article
    52. E. Bitzek, P. Gumbsch [2004], "Atomistic Study of Drag, Surface and Inertial Effects on Edge Dislocations in Face-Centered Cubic Metals", Mater. Sci. Eng. A 387-389, 11-15 Link to article

    Peer-reviewed conference proceedings:

    1. Y. Umeno, W. Nöhring, A. Iskandarov, E. Bitzek [2013], "Atomistic model analysis of local and global instabilities in crystals at finite temperature", Key Engineering Materials, 592-593, 39-42
      Link to article
    2. C. Brandl, E. Bitzek, PM. Derlet, and H. Van Swygenhoven [2008], "Dislocation activity within nanocrystalline metals: A molecular dynamics study", Proceedings of the 4th international conference on Multiscale Materials Modeling, 2008, p. 807
    3. E. Bitzek, P. Gumbsch [2008], "Atomistic Simulations of Dislocation – Crack Interaction", Proceedings of the 2008 M&M International Symposium for Young Researchers, March 2008, Wakayama, Japan, pp. 181-192
    4. L. Li, M.G. Lee, P. Anderson, E. Bitzek, P.M. Derlet, H. Van Swygenhoven [2007], "A Quantized Crystal Plasticity Finite Element Model on Stress Strain Response of Nanocrystalline Metals", Materials Science and Technology 2007 Conf. Proc.
    5. E. Bitzek, P. Gumbsch [2006] , "Atomistic Simulations of Dislocation – Crack Interaction", High Performance Computing in Science and Engineering ‘06, pp. 127- 135, Springer, Berlin 2007
    6. E. Bitzek, D. Weygand, P. Gumbsch [2004], "Atomistic Study of Edge Dislocations in FCC Metals: Drag and Inertial Effects", IUTAM Symposium on Mesoscopic Dynamics of Fracture Process and Material Strength, vol. 115, 2004, pp. 45-57
    7. E. Bitzek, F. Gähler, J. Hahn et al. [2000], "Recent Developments in IMD: Interactions for Covalent and Metallic Systems", High Performance Computing in Science and Engineering 2000, pp. 37-47, Springer, Berlin 2001

    Book chapters:

  • J. J. Möller, E. Bitzek, “Atomic-scale modeling of elementary processes during the fatigue of metallic materials: from crack initiation to crack-microstructure interactions”, in Fatigue of Materials at Very High Numbers of Loading Cycles - Experimental Techniques, Mechanisms, Modeling and Fatigue Life Assessment Ed. HJ Christ, Springer, 2018
  • J. J. Möller, A. Prakash, E. Bitzek, "FE2AT-finite element informed atomistic simulations", chapter 9 in Multiscale Materials Modeling: Approaches to Full Multiscaling Eds. S. Schmauder, I. Schaefer, de Gruyter, Berlin, 2016

    Conference proceedings:

    1. M. Mousavi, J. Guénolé, P. Baranova,
      E.Bitzek, A. M. Korsunsky, "ATOMISTIC SIMULATION OF CRACKS VERSUS GENERALIZED CONTINUA", Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Fracture (ICF14), Rhodes, Greece, June 18-23, 2017, Ed. E.E. Gdoutos.
    2. P.N. Baranova, E. Bitzek, "INFLUENCE OF ATOMIC-SCALE HETEROGENEITIES ON FRACTURE BEHAVIOUR OF B2 NIAL", Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Fracture (ICF14), Rhodes, Greece, June 18-23, 2017, Ed. E.E. Gdoutos.
    3. E. Bitzek, P. Baranova, J.J. Möller, "3D ASPECTS OF FRACTURE AND EFFECTS DUE TO CRACK FRONT CURVATURE", Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Fracture (ICF14), Rhodes, Greece, June 18-23, 2017, Ed. E.E. Gdoutos.


    1. M. Moseler, P. Gumbsch, E. Bitzek, P. Koskinen, "Method for calculating a local extremum,
      preferably a local minimum, of a multidimensional function E(x1, x2, ..., xn)",
      United States Patent Application 20070239809