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Fraunhofer-Institut Schicht- und Oberflächentechnik

As an industry oriented R&D service center, the Fraunhofer Institute for Thin Film and Surface Technology (IST) is pooling competencies in the areas film deposition, coating application, film characterization, and surface analysis. A large number of scientists, engineers, and technicians are busily working to provide various types of surfaces with new or improved functions and, as a result, help create innovative marketable products. At present, the institute´s research fields are:

  • friction reduction, wear and corrosion protection
  • electrical and optical coatings
  • adhesive and anti-adhesive coatings
  • film and surface characterization

In pursuing these research programs the institute utilizes its core competencies:

  • diamond technology
  • DLC based coatings
  • transparent conductive (oxide) coatings
  • microanalysis and tribological metrology
  • hollow cathode glow discharges
  • atmospheric plasma processes
  • environmentally sound precleaning

In line with the cross-sectional character of coatings and surface technologies the institute cooperates with a large number of coating service providers, equipment manufacturers, and coating users from diverse industries like machinery, transportation, production technology, electronics, optics, information technology, energy, medical devices, and biotechnology to name just the most important ones.

On an office and laboratory area of more than 44000 square feet 75 tenured employees are addressing a variety of research projects. Its capabilities are supplemented by the competencies of other institutes from the Fraunhofer pool "surface technology and photonics."

The institute cooperates very closely with the Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP in Dresden. Both institutes have a common director.

Many projects are supported by funding through the state (land) Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), the federal government, the European Union, and other institutions.

Important goals of the Fraunhofer IST are

  • the rapid transfer of innovative solutions from application oriented research and development to the industrial praxis
  • the establishment of new future oriented technologies in the market place and
  • the transfer of these innovative technologies to small and medium sized companies.

To provide a platform for a wide-spread application of thin-film and surface technology the Fraunhofer IST develops

  • customized coating systems for industrial application in almost every industry,
  • cost-effective deposition processes to enter new markets and
  • coating specific test methods and metrology that meet industrial quality standards.


Fraunhofer-Institut Schicht- und Oberflächentechnik

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