The institutes of the Group Light & Surfaces have a wide range of physical coating processes at their disposal. For example, Fraunhofer IST and Fraunhofer FEP share several central processes – physical vapor deposition (PVD) and, in particular, magnetron sputtering as well as hollow cathode discharge – for the production of a wide variety of coatings.
Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD)
Physical vapor deposition (PVD) is also used to coat components and small parts as bulk material. At Fraunhofer FEP, the “coating of components” group develops process and technology development in this field.
Atomic layer deposition (ALD) processes are used at Fraunhofer IOF to produce innovative and improved optical nanostructures. Examples are high-performance grids for laser applications or space missions. Furthermore, Fraunhofer IOF uses high-vacuum evaporation chambers with resistance and electron beam evaporators or plasma ion sources for various coating tasks: for example, the thermal vapor deposition of organic compounds.
Physical vapor phase deposition processes allow high-quality tribological and functional layers to be deposited in thicknesses from a few nanometers to a few tens of micrometers. For this purpose, Fraunhofer IWS can provide its clients with processes from high-rate vaporization to highly-activated plasma processes and their combinations. In particular, the institute focuses on the comprehensive use of arc discharges as the most effective source of energetic vapor jets.