The Leibniz Institute of Surface Engineering (IOM) conducts application-oriented basic research with the aim of gaining scientific knowledge on physical and chemical mechanisms that are important for the production and modification of insulating, metallic, semiconducting and polymer surfaces and thin films. Low-energy ions, electrons and plasmas as well as photons (lasers) are used as "tools".

One of the Institute's most important goals is to transfer these fundamental findings to industry for product- and process-oriented applications within the framework of technology transfer.

The IOM is organized into two research areas: Precision Surfaces and Functional Surfaces with defined fields of competence.