Advanced Surface Engineering

The thin film technology represents a key technology for the fabrication of functional surfaces. Thin films with thicknesses of a few nano- to micrometers significantly increase the performance and life-time of tools, reduce the friction in automotive engines and powertrains and increase the efficiency of combustion engines. Moreover, they enable entirely new applications, e.g. in power engineering (photovoltaics, solar absorbers) or display technology (thin film transistor LCDs, touch panels).

The focus of the group Multifunctional Thin Films is on the development of processes and materials for multifunctional surfaces. The thin films are deposited from the gas phase (Physical and Chemical Vapor Deposition). Examples for current developments are extremely oxidation resistant thin films for tools, self-lubricous thin films for automotive applications, thin films with thermal management properties for highly loaded bearings in aviation, thin films with adjustable optical properties for solarthermics or corrosion resistant thin films for displays.

(a) From the deposition system to the coated cutting inserts and their application. (b) Thin film characterization using high resolution methods. From light optical microscopy via scanning- to transmission electron microscopy.