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

The basics of the molecular mechanisms occurring at surfaces and interfaces, which are experimentally investigated by imaging analytics and operando spectroscopy and whose understanding is underpinned by theoretical calculations, are the focus of the R&D work.

Photons, electrons and particles in interaction with surfaces and interfaces
Contact: PD Dr. A. Kahnt
Instrumental analytics and process control
Contact: Dr. T. Scherzer
Computational chemistry of functional materials
Contact: Dr. S. Zahn

Research and development focus with focus on the production of functional surfaces and films (essentially 2-D structures) which are used as barrier layers or as switchable and sensory surfaces.

Barrier layers and functional/ structured surfaces
Contact: Dr. U. Helmstedt
Functional surfaces on carbon materials
Contact: Dr. W. Knolle
Switchable and sensory surfaces
Contact: Dr. K. Monakhov

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.

Functional membranes and porous polymer materials
Contact: Dr. A. Schulze
Electrochemically active surfaces and energy conversion
Contact: Prof. Dr. B. Abel (provisional)
Functional surfaces in microfluidic systems
Contact: Dr. C. Elsner