In addition to laser processes for welding, cutting, ablation and additive manufacturing, thin-film processes form a core activity of the institutes in the Fraunhofer Group for Light & Surfaces. Here, the following procedures are of primary importance:
- PVD coating
- Sputter coating
- CVD coating
They are supplemented, however, by a great number of post-treatment processes that increase the layer functionality. With these methods, the group can provide industrial solutions for the production of different layers and layer systems, for example:
- Functional layers and multi-material layer systems for sensors, electronics and optics
- Wear and corrosion protection layers for tools and components
- Tribological layers for highly stressed components
- Laser post-treatment of nano- and microparticulate layers
- Combination processes from wet-chemical coating processes (e.g. dip coating, rotary coating, inkjet, spraying, dispensing, screen printing, pad printing) and laser post-treatment
A far-reaching application of thin film processes, extending far beyond the use of classical coating technologies, is the production of organic semiconductor devices, as pursued at Fraunhofer FEP. Organic semi-finished materials enable the generation of large-area structural elements, for example organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) or organic solar cells on flexible carrier materials.
The group has numerous processes and plants as well as several clean rooms at its disposal, enabling it to combine processes and conduct product development and innovation more effectively. In addition, it has various coating technologies, such as vacuum evaporation of organic and inorganic materials, atomic layer deposition (ALD), as well as printing and lamination processes and laser ablation. Many of these processes can be conducted and combined without a sudden loss of vacuum or under inert conditions.