Disputation: Domas Birenis

Doctoral candidate Domas Birenis at the Department Of Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, is defending the thesis

“Fundamental investigations of hydrogen embrittlement by using electron microscopy”

for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor.

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The University of Oslo is closed. The PhD defence and trial lecture will therefore be fully digital and streamed directly using Zoom. The host of the session will moderate the technicalities while the chair of the defence will moderate the disputation.

Ex auditorio questions: the chair of the defence will invite the audience to ask ex auditorio questions either written or oral. This can be requested by clicking 'Participants -> Raise hand'



Trial lecture

"The plasticity mechanisms"




Conferral summary 

Domas Birenis is a physicist with extensive experience in electron microscopy and interests in semiconductor physics, metallurgy and hydrogen energy technologies. In his PhD project he studied hydrogen embrittlement in steels by employing advanced electron microscopy techniques.


Hydrogen is one of the major problems in offshore industry and causes catastrophic failures of mechanical components despite their conformity to international standards. Hydrogen is a byproduct of corrosion and cannot be avoided in subsea mechanical parts. On the other hand, the lack of fundamental understanding about how hydrogen affects mechanical properties of various metals and alloys, makes their performance under hydrogen containing environment to be hard to predict.


In his work, Domas discovered that hydrogen has dramatic influence on the dislocation reorganization during deformation of metals. Dislocations are planar defects in solid state materials and are the main reason why some materials can be deformed plastically (copper wires), and others break immediately if deformed even a tiny bit (glass). Some strong evidence was found that hydrogen obstructs dislocation motion and, in this way, suppresses plastic deformation. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy was used to demonstrate that the same material loaded in air develops higher number and more complex networks of dislocations than in hydrogen. Hydrogen was expected to pin the dislocations and slow down or completely stop their motion at given stress levels therefore causing premature cracking.


For further information

please contact Line Trosterud Resvold

Published May 4, 2020 2:27 PM - Last modified June 12, 2020 3:15 PM