Application Center of the IOM

The Application Center of the IOM is a technology platform for the efficient and sustainable transfer of IOM research results to industrial partners. Radiationbased high technologies, new process technologies, and products can be developed at the IOM for industry under industry-relevant conditions. The aim is to transfer technological developments from pilot scale to scale up, especially in the fields of optical and chemical industry, semiconductor technology, mechanical engineering and medical technology. Various high-tech irradiation and coating systems are available in the application center for this purpose.


  • Reactive ion beam etching (RIBE)
  • Plasma jet process for ultra-precision surface treatment
  • Electron beam based membrane modification in roll to roll process
  • Coating machine for forming flexible gas barrier layers in roll-to-roll process


Reactive Ion Beam Etching (RIBE)

Facility for ion beam assisted etching of optical components

Reactive ion beam etching (RIBE) is a sophisticated technology enabling the fabrication of e.g. optical elements with sub-atomic precision. Within the extended research infrastructure a new state-of-the-art RIBE facility was established. A integrated 5 axes-motion system enables now uniform etching of large workpieces with diameters up to 450 mm and a maximum weight of 50 kg. The RIBE system is equipped with a Kaufman-type ion source, configured for Fluorine-containing etching gases, and can be upgraded with different optical and masspectroscopic in-situ measurement technologies which guarantee high process stability and reliability. With the RIBE 450 etching plant, newly developed IOM etching processes for ultraprecise and innovative structured functional surfaces can be further scaled up to industrially relevant sizes.

  • Ion beam driven self-organization
  • RIBE for pattern transfer
  • IBE/RIBE on large surfaces
  • Ion beam assisted surface smoothing



Plasma Jet Process for Ultra-precision Surface Treatment

Plasma polishing facility

Plasma jet-based processing chains for the manufacturing of optical freeform surfaces of fused silica are comprised of several machining steps including plasma jet polishing. The main advantage of the plasma jet polishing process is its action independent of surface curvature. Hence, shape-preserving smoothing is achieved even on surfaces with variable surface curvatures like aspheres or freeforms. The new plasma jet polishing machine is based on a 4-axes CNC platform equipped with a specially designed microwave-driven inert plasma jet source. The machine allows to treat fused silica surfaces with lateral dimensions up to 250 mm in diameter obtaining micro-roughness values of less than 0.3 nm RMS.

  • Plasma jet machining
  • Plasma assisted polishing
  • Ion beam figuring
  • Reactive plasma jet sources



Electron Beam based Membrane Modification in Roll-to-Roll Process

Roll-to-roll e-beam system

Porous polymer membranes are of increasing importance regarding modern separation technologies such as waste water treatment, sterilization filtration, hemodialysis, dairy industry, etc. To comply with required process conditions these polymer membranes are predominantly fabricated from synthetic hydrophobic polymers. However, these materials are prone to fouling. Electron beam technology can be efficiently used for the hydrophilization of polymer membranes by directed grafting of hydrophilic small molecules/polymers to the membrane surface. This new machine (80 – 200 keV) enables an upscaling (roll-to-roll) of our method using hollow fibres or flat sheet membranes with individual pre- and post-treatment.

  • Electron beam modification of polymer membranes
  • Photocatalytically active membrane surfaces
  • Bioactive membrane surfaces


Pilot-scale Coating Machine for flexible Gas Barrier Films in Roll-to-Roll Process

Pilot-scale coating machine for advanced flexible gas-barrier films

Development of cost-efficient flexible gas-barrier films for encapsulation of sensitive thin-film photovoltaics is currently a challenge facing industry when aiming on higher quota of renewable energy production. Recently, a photochemical process working at normal pressure and low temperature has been developed at IOM. The process involves UV-initiated conversion of a thin polysilazane layer into silica. A pilot-scale coating machine has been designed and constructed with the aim to further develop gas-barrier films and their production technology. The machine enables scale-up to wider substrates, demonstrations in true technical scale, and resilient economical evaluation of the production process.

  • Low-temperature processes for preparation of metal oxide thin films
  • Silicon oxide thin films for flexible transparent high gas permeation barrier
  • Lamination of single laye films (up to 500 mm web width)