As an innovative R&D partner the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST offers complete solutions in surface engineering which are developed in cooperation with customers from industry and research. The IST’s “product“ is the surface, optimized by modification, patterning, and/or coating for applications in the business units mechanical engineering, tools and automotive technology, aerospace, energy and electronics, optics, and also life science and ecology.  

The principle technology units at the IST are

  • atmospheric pressure processes with the main focus on electrochemical processes and atmospheric pressure plasma processes,
  • low pressure plasma processes with the main focus on magnetron sputtering and highly ionized plasmas and PECVD as well as
  • chemical vapor deposition with the main focus on hot-wire CVD.
  • The center of tribological coatings focusses on the friction reduction, wear and corrosion protection.
  • The Application Center for Plasma and Photonics deals with mobile plasma sources and laser plasma hybrid processes.

The IST’s expertise lies in the ability to control all of the above-mentioned processes and their combination with a great variety of thin films. Extensive experience with thin-film deposition and film applications is complemented by excellent capabilities in surface analysis using the very latest equipment and in simulating vacuum-based processes.

Choosing the optimum combination of process and coating for a particular task is one of the major strengths of the Fraunhofer IST. Besides fundamental research activities in cooperation with universities and research centers, about 120 employees are developing tailored surfaces and processes together with service providers, equipment manufacturers, and coating users from diverse industries. For an efficient technology transfer the IST offers a broad range of services, from development of prototypes and economical product scenarios to upscaling and even implementation of the technology at the customer.