Nanostructured Functional Materials

Magnetron sputtering plant
Magnetron sputtering plant
Functional thin films produced via magnetron sputtering
© Fraunhofer IFAM
Functional thin films produced via magnetron sputtering

Surfaces can be functionalized and customized coatings can be developed by using vacuum coating technology to manufacture nanostructured materials. The customized structures confer electrical, optical, catalytic, and even self-cleaning functionalities on products.

Diverse materials for dense and porous thin films

Physical vapor deposition (PVD) via magnetron sputtering or gas flow sputtering can be used to process a wide range of metals, metal oxides, and alloys.

Using so-called co-sputtering, namely the simultaneous or sequential processing of different materials, composites or alloys can be deposited. It is also possible to feed reactive gases to the process in order, for example, to deposit metal oxides or nitrides.

Depending on the desired application it is possible to manufacture dense or porous layers or have a density gradient in order to combine high adhesion with a large specific surface area. By combining PVD methods with printing technologies there is enormous scope for manufacturing electronic components in our group.

Besides the deposition of thin films on solid substrates, there is also the option of depositing nanoparticles in liquids. These dispersions can also be used as coating additives in order to give them additional functional properties. A further application is use as application-specific inks for printing processes.