Department of Functional Surfaces

Research and development areas within the Department of Functional Surfaces of the Leibniz Institute of Surface Modification are focused towards “fundamental interactions of electrons and photons at surfaces and interfaces” and “functional control at complex surfaces and thin films”.

In this regard, complex surfaces include functional layers as well as functional nano- and micro structured systems (concave, convex) on surfaces. These are deposited, modified and characterized by using ion beam- and photonic technologies as well as plasmas.

The aim of all research areas is to carry out excellent basic research and to develop technologies for the rapid transfer into an industrial environment. The chemical department cooperates with regional, national as well as international research institutes, universities, and companies.

The research- and technology- areas of the Department of Functional Surfaces are interdisciplinary and strongly interlinked among each other.

Research and Development Foci of the Department of Functional Surfaces

Key elements of this research and development topic are mechanisms and timescales of fast elemental reactions and their competitive channels as well as short-lived reactive transients after excitation by high energy photons and electrons.
Because of its advanced equipment (electron accelerator, E(x) UV-fs-source) and its special competence, the research group is a strong cooperation partner in scientific networks. Additionally, the optical and photonic technologies are employed in in-line process control at the industrial scale. For this, the group offers many key technologies and major analytical equipment for highly specialized investigations.

The research and development topic functional surfaces is focused on the development of nanocomposites as well as on the development of cross-linked polymer layers modified by ion beams and photons with exceptional mechanical, thermal or barrier/membrane properties. This makes them highly functional as well as environmentally sustainable: perfect as technical solutions for our partners in the industry. Here, traditional technologies are further optimized.
A new topic of research is the preparation of nano layer systems via atomic layer deposition as well as the preparation of layers on surfaces whose functions can be controlled (e.g. with light).

The development of new biofunctional surfaces for bioanalytics as well as the preparation of technologies for modification of membranes, which can lead to the fabrication of new and unique products, is the centre of this research and development focus. We aim for instance at the fabrication of porous polymer systems as well as hybrid, biocompatible and bioactive nano materials. The development of micro- and nanostructured systems and hybrid systems on surfaces for energy conversion – for example in fuel cells – is a new addition to our research and development focus.