Functional surfaces and materials.
Functional surfaces and materials.

Functional surfaces and materials

A large part of product innovations is based on the development of new materials or new material properties. For the surfaces of many materials, e.g. industrial components or technical textiles, however, different properties are often desired than those of the material in volume.  At Fraunhofer IGB we develop functional surfaces and materials with regard to concrete applications. For this purpose, we decouple the properties of the material in volume from those of its surface – by means of interfacial engineering or nanotechnology. We impart new properties to surfaces of plastics, ceramics or metals by applying tailor-made thin layers or creating defined functions on surfaces.

Coating, functionalization, structuring

Some important properties of materials depend only on the chemistry and topography of their surface. These include wettability, bondability, adhesion properties or tribological properties. By suitable surface modifications it is possible to obtain materials with new property profiles and thus open up new applications. Protective layers, e.g. against corrosion or scratching, and barrier layers, e.g. as a barrier layer for oxygen or water vapor, extend the shelf life of materials or sensitive package contents.  

We give new properties to surfaces of plastics, ceramics or metals by applying thin layers or creating defined functions on surfaces. For this purpose we use gas phase processes (CVD, PVD, PECVD), wet chemical processes or combined processes. We have developed a single-stage synthesis strategy for open-pored polymer foams with functional groups.

Further applications

Coatings for medical engineering

Information on coatings that play a role in contact with biological cells in medical technology can be found in the "Health" business area.