Old Material – Newly Discovered

Frederik Kotz awarded the Gips-Schüle Prize for Junior Researchers for his newly developed method of shaping glass



The Freiburg materials scientist Frederik Kotz was awarded the Gips-Schüle Young Scientist Prize for his dissertation. Photo Frederik Klotz

Freiburg, Sep 17, 2020

Glass is one of the oldest known and still one of the most-used materials today. While working on his doctorate, materials science researcher Dr. Frederik Kotz developed a new method of shaping types of glass in the same way as synthetics. For his achievement, he’s been awarded 10 thousand euros, the sum granted to the first place winner of 2020 Gips-Schüle Prize for Junior Researchers. Based in Stuttgart, the Gips-Schüle Foundation is presenting the award for outstanding doctoral theses in what are known as the MINT subjects – mathematics, informatics, natural sciences, and technology – for the fifth time. In this way, the organization promotes research, junior scientists, and teaching in Baden-Württemberg.

The molding and micro-structuring of glass in particular has until now limited the use of glass in optical and communications technology, even though it is often superior to other materials, such as the synthetics that are commonly used. The new process devised by Kotz enables transparent glass to be shaped using 3D-printing, casting, or stamping at temperatures lower than 130 degrees Celsius, as would be done with plastics.  The materials scientist has done this by developing a composite that behaves like a synthetic and is only turned into glass after shaping.  Kotz has already applied the method to produce very pure quartz and colored glass with properties that do not differ significantly from previously available glass.  The technology is already being used to produce the smallest of optical lenses and synthesis reactors.

Frederik Kotz studied mechanical engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and received a doctorate in materials science on the topic of “Developing new materials for the additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping of glass and polymethyl acrylate” („Entwicklung neuer Materialien für die additive Fertigung und das Rapid Prototyping von Glas und Polymethylmethacrylat“). At the University of Freiburg, Kotz is researching as a group leader at the NeptunLab of the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK).  His work is dedicated specifically to the development of new materials and their processing.  Kotz co-founded the company Glassomer GmbH, which manufactures and markets the materials he’s developed. 

Dr. Frederik Kotz
Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK)
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203 – 735


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