Short bio

Benoit Merle has been Associate Professor and head of the research group „Mechanical Behavior of Materials“ at the University of Kassel, Germany, since 2022. Prior to this, he had been leading the research group „Nanomechanics” at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). He received his education from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in France (Ms.Sc. with honors in 2005) and University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Germany (PhD with honors in 2013). Additionally, he has been active as an engineer with Siemens AG, and as a visiting scholar with Prof. George M. Pharr at Texas A&M University and Prof. Daniel S. Gianola at University of California, Santa Barbara.

He is currently Principal Investigator of the ERC „NanoHighSpeed” project, Chair of the EU COST „MecaNano” network, and Principal Editor of the Journal of Materials Research.

He has a strong research focus on nanomechanical testing and nanoindentation.


since 2022Associate Professor & Chair for Mechanical Behavior of Materials, University of Kassel
2022Visiting Scholar with Prof. D. Gianola, UC Santa Barbara, USA
2019 - 2022Senior Faculty & Lab group leader, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
2018Visiting Scholar with Prof. G.M. Pharr, Texas A&M University, USA
2013 – 2019Faculty & Lab group leader, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
2007 – 2013Research Associate, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
2006 – 2007Engineer, Siemens AG, Germany


Academic Education


    Habilitation in Materials Science, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
    06/2013PhD in Materials Science, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
    11/2005M.Sc. in Engineering, École Centrale de Lyon, France

    Prof. Merle has given numerous invited presentations (TMS, DPG, MSE, ESMC…) and organized  symposia at major international conferences (ICMCTF, E-MRS, TMS). The quality of his work has been acknowledged by several awards, e.g. from the German materials society (DGM) and the Staedtler Foundation. In 2020, he was awarded the prestigious ERC Starting Grant by the European Research Council.

    2022Chair of the European Network for the Mechanics of Matter at the Nano-Scale (EU COST)
    2021Masing Award, German Society for Materials Research (DGM)
    2020ERC Starting Grant, European Research Council
    2020Wolfgang Finkelnburg Habilitation Award
    2019Best lecture award from the Faculty of Engineering (rank 1/57), Erlangen, Germany
    2016Best lecture award from the Faculty of Engineering (rank 3/53), Erlangen, Germany
    2015Best Poster Award at the „Nanomechanical Testing in Materials Research & Development V“ Conference, Albufeira, Portugal
    2015Best lecture award from the Faculty of Engineering (rank 1/24), Erlangen, Germany
    2014Young Researcher Award, German Society for Materials Research (DGM)
    2014Best PhD Award, Staedtler Foundation, Germany
    2011Best Poster Award at the „Nanomechanical Testing in Materials Research & Development III“ Conference, Lanzarote, Spain
    2009Best Poster Award at the „Nanomechanical Testing“ Conference, Barga, Italy

    Prof. Merle is the author or co-author of many publications in international peer-reviewed journals. He is also Principal Editor for the Journal of Materials Research (MRS Society).

    Publication lists


    Marian, M., Zambrano, D. F., Rothammer, B., Waltenberger, V., Boidi, G., Krapf, A., Merle, B., Stampfl, J., Rosenkranz, A., Gachot, C., & Grützmacher, P. G. (2023). Combining multi-scale surface texturing and DLC coatings for improved tribological performance of 3D printed polymers. Surface and Coatings Technology, 466, 129682.
    Yang, Z., Huber, F., Krapf, A., Merle, B., Markl, M., Schmidt, M., & Körner, C. (2023). Revealing bulk metallic glass crystallization kinetics during laser powder bed fusion by a combination of experimental and numerical methods. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 619, 122532.
    Rothammer, B., Schwendner, M., Bartz, M., Wartzack, S., Boehm, T., Krauss, S., Merle, B., Schroeder, S., Uhler, M., Kretzer, J. P., Weihnacht, V., & Marian, M. (2023). Wear Mechanism of Superhard Tetrahedral Amorphous Carbon (ta-C) Coatings for Biomedical Applications. Advanced Materials Interfaces, 10(7), 2202370.
    Sommer, N., Bauer, A., Kahlmeyer, M., Wegener, T., Degener, S., Liehr, A., Bolender, A., Vollmer, M., Holz, H., Zeiler, S., Merle, B., Niendorf, T., & Böhm, S. (2023). High-Throughput Alloy Development Using Advanced Characterization Techniques During Directed Energy Deposition Additive Manufacturing. Advanced Engineering Materials, 2023, 2300030.
    Morales, L. A., Bezold, A., Foerner, A., Holz, H., Merle, B., Neumeier, S., Koerner, C., & Zenk, C. H. (2023). Influence of Cu Addition and Microstructural Configuration on the Creep Resistance and Mechanical Properties of an Fe-Based α/α′/α″ Superalloy. Advanced Engineering Materials, 25(9), 202201652.
    Gebhart, D. D., Krapf, A., Merle, B., Gammer, C., & Cordill, M. J. (2023). Describing mechanical damage evolution through in situ electrical resistance measurements. Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A, 41(2), 023408.


    Luo, N., Galgon, F., Krauß, S., Morales, L., Merle, B., Zenk, C., & Körner, C. (2022). Microstructural evolution and mechanical properties in Zr–Cu–Al–Nb bulk metallic glass composites prepared by laser metal deposition. Intermetallics, 140, 107393.
    Gebhart, D., Krapf, A., Gammer, C., Merle, B., & Cordill, M. (2022). Linking through-thickness cracks in metallic thin films to in-situ electrical resistance peak broadening. Scripta Materialia, 212, 114550.
    Akhlaghi, M., Hock, R., Dallmann, J., Krapf, A., Merle, B., Hofsäss, H., Körner, C., & Leineweber, A. (2022). Gaseous nitriding of Co-10 at% and -15 at% Cr alloys at 400 °C and 450 °C. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 907, 164535.
    Yang, Z., Wang, H., Krauß, S., Huber, F., Merle, B., Schmidt, M., Markl, M., & Körner, C. (2022). Evolution of an industrial-grade Zr-based bulk metallic glass during multiple laser beam melting. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 589(8), 121649.
    Wallis, D., Harris, J., Böhm, C. F., Di, W., Zavattieri, P., Feldner, P., Merle, B., Pipich, V., Hurle, K., Leupold, S., Hansen, L., Marin, F., & Wolf, S. E. (2022). Correction: Progressive changes in crystallographic textures of biominerals generate functionally graded ceramics. Materials Advances, 3(5), 2598.
    Winczewski, J., Herrera, M., Cabriel, C., Izeddin, I., Gabel, S., Merle, B., Susarrey Arce, A., & Gardeniers, H. (2022). Additive Manufacturing of 3D Luminescent ZrO 2 :Eu 3+ Architectures. Advanced Optical Materials, 10(12), 2102758.
    Maier-Kiener, V., Lawrence, S., & Merle, B. (2022). 30 Years of Oliver–Pharr: Then, Now and the Future of Nanoindentation. Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, 74(6), 2177–2178.
    Gabel, S., Merle, B., Bitzek, E., & Göken, M. (2022). A new method for microscale cyclic crack growth characterization from notched microcantilevers and application to single crystalline tungsten and a metallic glass. Journal of Materials Research, 37(12), 2061–2072.
    Wallis, D., Wang, D., Harris, J., Böhm, C. F., Zavattieri, P., Feldner, P., Merle, B., Pipich, V., Hurle, K., Leupold, S., Hansen, L. H., Marin, F., & Wolf, S. E. (2022). Progressive changes in crystallographic textures of biominerals generate functionally graded ceramics. Materials Advances, 3(3), 1527–1538.
    Krauß, S., Seynstahl, A., Tremmel, S., Meyer, B., Bitzek, E., Göken, M., Yokosawa, T., Apeleo-Zubiri, B., Spiecker, E., & Merle, B. (2022). Structural reorientation and compaction of porous MoS2 coatings during wear testing. Wear, 500-501, 204339.
    Lubauer, J., Ast, J., Göken, M., Merle, B., Lohbauer, U., & Belli, R. (2022). Resistance-curve envelopes for dental lithium disilicate glass-ceramics. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 42(5), 2516–2522.
    Bykova, E., Johansson, E., Bykov, M., Chariton, S., Fei, H., Ovsyannikov, S., Aslandukova, A., Gabel, S., Holz, H., Merle, B., Alling, B., Abrikosov, I., Smith, J., Prakapenka, V., Katsura, T., Dubrovinskaia, N., Goncharov, A., & Dubrovinsky, L. (2022). Novel Class of Rhenium Borides Based on Hexagonal Boron Networks Interconnected by Short B2 Dumbbells. Chemistry of Materials, 34(18), 8138–8152.
    Bykova, E., Ovsyannikov, S., Bykov, M., Yin, Y., Fedotenko, T., Holz, H., Gabel, S., Merle, B., Chariton, S., Prakapenka, B. V., Dubrovinskaia, N., Goncharov, F. A., & Dubrovinsky, L. (2022). Synthesis, crystal structure, and properties of stoichiometric hard tungsten tetraboride, WB4. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 37(10), 20111–20120.


    Merle, B., Maier-Kiener, V., Rupert, T., & Pharr, G. (2021). Current trends in nanomechanical testing research. Journal of Materials Research, 36(11), 2133–2136.
    Gabel, S., Giese, S., Merle, B., Sprenger, I., Heilmaier, M., Neumeier, S., Bitzek, E., & Göken, M. (2021). Microcantilever Fracture Tests on Eutectic NiAl-Cr(Mo) In Situ Composites. Advanced Engineering Materials, 23(6), 2001464.
    Seynstahl, A., Krauß, S., Bitzek, E., Meyer, B., Merle, B., & Tremmel, S. (2021). Microstructure, Mechanical Properties and Tribological Behavior of Magnetron-Sputtered MoS2 Solid Lubricant Coatings Deposited under Industrial Conditions. Coatings, 11(4), 455.
    Preiß, E. I., Merle, B., Xiao, Y., Gannott, F., Liebig, J. P., Wheeler, J. M., & Göken, M. (2021). Applicability of focused Ion beam (FIB) milling with gallium, neon, and xenon to the fracture toughness characterization of gold thin films. Journal of Materials Research, 36(12), 2505–2514.
    Feldner, P., Merle, B., & Göken, M. (2021). Breakdown of the superplastic deformation behavior of heterogeneous nanomaterials at small length scales. Materials Research Letters, 9(1), 41–49.
    Marian, M., Feile, K., Rothammer, B., Bartz, M., Wartzack, S., Seynstahl, A., Tremmel, S., Krauß, S., Merle, B., Böhm, T., Wang, B., Wyatt, B., Anasori, B., & Rosenkranz, A. (2021). Ti3C2Tx solid lubricant coatings in rolling bearings with remarkable performance beyond state-of-the-art materials. Applied Materials Today, 25, 101202.
    Wang, J., Kang, E., Sultan, U., Merle, B., Inayat, A., Graczykowski, B., Fytas, G., & Vogel, N. (2021). Influence of Surfactant-Mediated Interparticle Contacts on the Mechanical Stability of Supraparticles. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 125(42), 23445–23456.
    Rothammer, B., Neusser, K., Marian, M., Bartz, M., Krauß, S., Böhm, T., Thiele, S., Merle, B., Detsch, R., & Wartzack, S. (2021). Amorphous Carbon Coatings for Total Knee Replacements-Part I: Deposition, Cytocompatibility, Chemical and Mechanical Properties. Polymers, 13(12), 1952.
    Wang, J., Schwenger, J., Ströbel, A., Feldner, P., Herre, P., Romeis, S., Peukert, W., Merle, B., & Vogel, N. (2021). Mechanics of colloidal supraparticles under compression. Science Advances, 7(42), eabj0954.
    Weikert, T., Wartzack, S., Baloglu, M. V., Willner, K., Gabel, S., Merle, B., Pineda, F., Walczak, M., Rosenkranz, A., & Tremmel, S. (2021). Evaluation of the surface fatigue behavior of amorphous carbon coatings through cyclic nanoindentation. Surface and Coatings Technology, 407, 126769.
    Rothammer, B., Marian, M., Neusser, K., Bartz, M., Böhm, T., Krauß, S., Schroeder, S., Uhler, M., Thiele, S., Merle, B., Kretzer, J. P., & Wartzack, S. (2021). Amorphous Carbon Coatings for Total Knee Replacements—Part II: Tribological Behavior. Polymers, 13(11), 1880.
    Sommerschuh, M., Wirth, J., Englisch, S., Przybilla, T., Zubiri, B. A., Pistor, J., Merle, B., Körner, C., Göken, M., & Spiecker, E. (2021). A scale-bridging study of the influence of TCP phases on the mechanical properties of an additive manufactured Ni-base superalloy combining microcompression testing, X-ray nanotomography and TEM. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 27(S1), 938–942.
    Liebig, J. P., Mačković, M., Spiecker, E., Göken, M., & Merle, B. (2021). Grain boundary mediated plasticity: A blessing for the ductility of metallic thin films? Acta Materialia, 215, 117079.


    Kabir, A., Han, J. K., Merle, B., & Esposito, V. (2020). The role of oxygen defects on the electro-chemo-mechanical properties of highly defective gadolinium doped ceria. Materials Letters, 266, 127490.
    Marian, M., Song, G. C., Wang, B., Fuenzalida, V. M., Krauß, S., Merle, B., Tremmel, S., Wartzack, S., Yu, J., & Rosenkranz, A. (2020). Effective usage of 2D MXene nanosheets as solid lubricant - Influence of contact pressure and relative humidity. Applied Surface Science, 531, 147311.
    Kabir, A., Espineira-Cachaza, M., Fiordaliso, E. M., Ke, D., Grasso, S., Merle, B., & Esposito, V. (2020). Effect of cold sintering process (CSP) on the electro-chemo-mechanical properties of Gd-doped ceria (GDC). Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 40(15), 5612–5618.
    Merle, B., Higgins, W. H., & Pharr, G. M. (2020). Extending the range of constant strain rate nanoindentation testing. Journal of Materials Research, 35(4), 343–352.
    Krauß, S., Schieß, T., Göken, M., & Merle, B. (2020). Revealing the local fatigue behavior of bimodal copper laminates by micropillar fatigue tests. Materials Science and Engineering: A, 788, 139502.
    Merle, B., & Gabel, S. (2020). Small-scale high-cycle fatigue testing by dynamic microcantilever bending. MRS Communications, 10(2), 332–337.


    Hou, X., Krauß, S., & Merle, B. (2019). Additional grain boundary strengthening in length-scale architectured copper with ultrafine and coarse domains. Scripta Materialia, 165, 55–59.
    Merle, B. (2019). Creep behavior of gold thin films investigated by bulge testing at room and elevated temperature. Journal of Materials Research, 34(1), 69–77.
    Merle, B., Higgins, W. H., & Pharr, G. M. (2019). Critical issues in conducting constant strain rate nanoindentation tests at higher strain rates. Journal of Materials Research, 34(20), 3495–3503.
    Böhm, C. F., Feldner, P., Merle, B., & Wolf, S. E. (2019). Conical Nanoindentation Allows Azimuthally Independent Hardness Determination in Geological and Biogenic Minerals. Materials, 12(10), 1630.
    Tinoco, H. A., Hutař, P., Merle, B., Göken, M., & Tomáš, K. (2019). Fracture Toughness Evaluation of a Cracked Au Thin Film by Applying a Finite Element Analysis and Bulge Test. Key Engineering Materials, 827, 196–202.
    Preiß, E. I., Lyu, H., Liebig, J. P., Richter, G., Gannott, F., Gruber, P. A., Göken, M., Bitzek, E., & Merle, B. (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. Journal of Materials Research, 34(20), 3483–3494.
    Fischer, C., Merle, B., & Drummer, D. (2019). Achieving homogeneous properties for thin-walled components through dynamic temperature controls. Zeitschrift Kunststofftechnik, 15(5), 353–369.
    Bykov, M., Chariton, S., Fei, H., Fedotenko, T., Aprilis, G., Ponomareva, A. V., Tasnádi, F., Abrikosov, I. A., Merle, B., Feldner, P., Vogel, S., Schnick, W., Prakapenka, V. B., Greenberg, E., Hanfland, M., Pakhomova, A., Liermann, H.-P., Katsura, T., Dubrovinskaia, N., & Dubrovinsky, L. (2019). High-pressure synthesis of ultraincompressible hard rhenium nitride pernitride Re-2(N-2)(N)(2) stable at ambient conditions. Nature Communications, 10, 2994.


    Feldner, P., Merle, B., & Göken, M. (2018). Superplastic deformation behavior of Zn-22% Al alloy investigated by nanoindentation at elevated temperatures. Materials & Design, 153, 71–79.
    Liebig, J. P., Krauß, S., Göken, M., & Merle, B. (2018). Influence of stacking fault energy and dislocation character on slip transfer at coherent twin boundaries studied by micropillar compression. Acta Materialia, 154, 261–272.
    Preiß, E. I., Gannott, F., Göken, M., & Merle, B. (2018). Scaling of the fracture toughness of freestanding metallic thin films with the yield strength. Materials Research Letters, 6(10), 607–612.
    Khansur, N. H., Eckstein, U., Benker, L., Deisinger, U., Merle, B., & Webber, K. G. (2018). Room temperature deposition of functional ceramic films on low-cost metal substrate. Ceramics International, 44(14), 16295–16301.
    Merle, B., & Höppel, H. W. (2018). Microscale High-Cycle Fatigue Testing by Dynamic Micropillar Compression Using Continuous Stiffness Measurement. Experimental Mechanics, 58(3), 465–474.
    Merle, B., Kraus, X., Tallawi, M., Scharfe, B., El Fray, M., Aifantis, K., Boccaccini, A. R., & Göken, M. (2018). Dynamic mechanical characterization of poly(glycerol sebacate)/poly (butylene succinate-butylene dilinoleate) blends for cardiac tissue engineering by flat punch nanoindentation. Materials Letters, 221, 115–118.


    Shrestha, S., Fischer, R., Matt, G. J., Feldner, P., Michel, T., Osvet, A., Levchuck, I., Merle, B., Golkar, S., Chen, H., Tedde, S. F., Schmidt, O., Hock, R., Rühring, M., Göken, M., Heiß, W., Anton, G., & Brabec, C. J. (2017). High-performance direct conversion X-ray detectors based on sintered hybrid lead triiodide perovskite wafers. Nature Photonics, 11(7), 436–440.
    Mikschl, F., Merle, B., Baum, M., Haberle, J., Göken, M., & Schmidt, M. (2017). Micromechanical characterization of laser consolidated nanoparticle ITO layers. Thin Solid Films, 642, 214–218.
    Preiß, E. I., Merle, B., & Göken, M. (2017). Understanding the extremely low fracture toughness of freestanding gold thin films by in-situ bulge testing in an AFM. Materials Science and Engineering: A, 691, 218–225.
    Vierneusel, B., Benker, L., Tremmel, S., Göken, M., & Merle, B. (2017). Isolating the effect of residual stresses on coating wear by a mechanical stress relaxation technique. Thin Solid Films, 638, 159–166.
    Fischer, C., Seefried, A., Merle, B., Göken, M., & Drummer, D. (2017). Influencing Hardness and Wear During the Dynamic Tempered Microinjection Molding Process by Considering Isothermal Holding Time. Polymer Engineering and Science, 57(2), 121–128.
    Merle, B., Maier-Kiener, V., & Pharr, G. M. (2017). Influence of modulus-to-hardness ratio and harmonic parameters on continuous stiffness measurement during nanoindentation. Acta Materialia, 134, 167–176.
    Ghanem, M., Göken, M., & Merle, B. (2017). Plane-strain bulge testing of thin films under compressive residual stresses. Surface and Coatings Technology, 327, 167–173.
    Feldner, P., Merle, B., & Göken, M. (2017). Determination of the strain-rate sensitivity of ultrafine-grained materials by spherical nanoindentation. Journal of Materials Research, 32(8), 1466–1473.


    Javed, H., Merle, B., Preiß, E. I., Hivet, R., Benedetto, A., & Göken, M. (2016). Mechanical characterization of metallic thin films by bulge and scratch testing. Surface and Coatings Technology, 289, 69–74.
    Merle, B., Nicholson, K. S., Herbert, E. G., & Göken, M. (2016). An improved method for point deflection measurements on rectangular membranes. Materials & Design, 109, 485–491.
    Liebig, J. P., Göken, M., Richter, G., Mačković, M., Przybilla, T., Spiecker, E., Pierron, O. N., & Merle, B. (2016). A flexible method for the preparation of thin film samples for in situ TEM characterization combining shadow-FIB milling and electron beam-assisted etching. Ultramicroscopy, 171, 82–88.
    Ast, J., Merle, B., Durst, K., & Göken, M. (2016). Fracture toughness evaluation of NiAl single crystals by microcantilevers-a new continuous J-integral method. Journal of Materials Research, 31(23), 3786–3794.


    Merle, B., Cassel, D., & Göken, M. (2015). Time-dependent deformation behavior of freestanding and SiNx-supported gold thin films investigated by bulge tests. Journal of Materials Research, 30(14), 2161–2169.


    Merle, B., & Göken, M. (2014). Bulge fatigue testing of freestanding and supported gold films. Journal of Materials Research, 29(2), 267–276.
    Merle, B., Maier-Kiener, V., & Durst, K. (2014). Experimental and Theoretical Confirmation of the Scaling Exponent 2 in Pyramidal Load Displacement Data for Depth Sensing Indentation. Scanning, 36(5), 526–529.


    Maier-Kiener, V., Merle, B., Göken, M., & Durst, K. (2013). An improved long-term nanoindentation creep testing approach for studying the local deformation processes in nanocrystalline metals at room and elevated temperatures. Journal of Materials Research, 28(9), 1177–1188.
    Tallawi, M., Rai, R., Gleixner, M. R., Rörick, O., Weyand, M., Röther, J. A., Schubert, D. W., Kozlowska, A., El Fray, M., Merle, B., Göken, M., Aifantis, K., & Boccaccini, A. R. (2013). Poly(glycerol sebacate)\Poly(butylene succinate-dilinoleate) Blends as Candidate Materials for Cardiac Tissue Engineering. Macromolecular Symposia, 334(1), 57–67.


    Merle, B., Schweitzer, E. W., & Göken, M. (2012). Thickness and grain size dependence of the strength of copper thin films as investigated with bulge tests and nanoindentations. Philosophical Magazine, 92(25-27), 3172–3187.
    Durst, K., Rehman, H. U., & Merle, B. (2012). Comment to paper “Penetration depth and tip radius dependence on the correction factor in nanoindentation measurements” by JM Meza et al. Journal of Materials Research, 27(8), 1205–1207.
    Meszaros, R., Merle, B., Wild, M., Durst, K., Göken, M., & Wondraczek, L. (2012). Effect of thermal annealing on the mechanical properties of low-emissivity physical vapor deposited multilayer-coatings for architectural applications. Thin Solid Films, 520(24), 7130–7135.
    Merle, B., Maier-Kiener, V., Göken, M., & Durst, K. (2012). Experimental determination of the effective indenter shape and epsilon-factor for nanoindentation by continuously measuring the unloading stiffness. Journal of Materials Research, 27(1), 214–221.


    Meszaros, R., Wild, M., Merle, B., & Wondraczek, L. (2011). Flexural strength of PVD coated float glass for architectural applications. GLASS TECHNOLOGY-EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF GLASS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PART A, 52(6), 190–196.
    Merle, B., & Göken, M. (2011). Fracture toughness of silicon nitride thin films of different thicknesses as measured by bulge tests. Acta Materialia, 59(4), 1772–1779.

    This listing from the Converis database of the University of Kassel is not updated on a regular basis. You are referred to the following sources for up-to-date publication lists: