Precision Coating

We develop processes and technologies to precisely and homogenously apply electrical, optical, acoustic, and magnetic layers and layer systems on large areas. This provides the basis for new products in the area of optics, electronics, sensor technology, photovoltaic systems, storage media, and biomedical technology.

For our customers we develop favorable-cost technologies for manufacturing innovative products, where combinations of different layer properties essentially determine the product properties. The long-term stable sputtering processes are ideally suited for manufacturing precise layer systems.

Our services include customized development of key components, processes and layer systems, the deposition of layers and layer systems in our laboratory and pilot facilities as well as the upscaling and transfer of integrated packages of hardware and technology into production.

The business unit Precision Coating combines four working groups from the areas of sheet-to-sheet technologies and precision coating with the following main topics:


Sputtering and PECVD coatings

Precision Coating

Precision Coating

Sputterepitaxy Technologies

Our offer

Fraunhofer FEP offers comprehensive competencies regarding process and technology development for coating technologies and layer systems according to your application along the entire value chain:

  • Market and feasibility studies, consulting, training
  • Design of an R&D project with work packages, milestones, costs
  • Development and optimization of coating technologies and coating systems
  • Development of key assemblies(magnetron sputter sources, plasma etching equipment) adapted to the requirements of the coating task
  • Coating of samples and pilot production
  • Demonstrator development and production
  • Transfer of integrated packages (consisting of key components, fully automated control systems and technology) into production plants
  • Support in cost determination and plant engineering implementation
  • Licensing

This development work is complemented and supported by:

  • Acquisition and coordination of state, federal and European Union funded projects
  • Economic feasibility studies

Application examples



Optics, sensor technology, and electronics

Coating technologies for the growth areas of optics, sensor technology, and electronics are gaining importance for an increasing number of established products and as a prerequisite for new products.


Displays and

Displays in consumer and professional applications are getting more and more sophisticated. Smart phones, wearables or TVs are equipped with numerous functions to interactively reflect and capture the world.



Today’s cars reflect our individual preferences. A variety of functions can be implemented through thin-films technologies in optics, lighting and interior as well as through novel systems for connected mobility.


Optimized surfaces are the basis for a lot of innovation in the machine building sector. Layers that make products and components resistant to corrosion, wear, and scratching have enormous commercial importance.


Smart building and

In architecture the coating of flat glass with energy-efficient layers for low-energy homes or for renovation of historical buildings is growing in importance. Developments at the Fraunhofer FEP on transparent heat-reflection, sun protection, and diffusion barrier layers on flat glas and flexible polymer substrates ...



With our services in thin-film technologies we would like not only to enable new products, but also to preserve objects of the past. Plasma processes and electron beam are the tools that we use to sustain historical heritage.

Medical and Biotechnological Applications

The growth in the medical technology sector is being accompanied by a great variety of innovations. The development of new products and medical equipment is often based on sophisticated starting materials.


Flexible Glass

Ultra-thin glass, also known as flexible glass, is a relatively new material with excellent surface properties and low substrate roughness.

Sputterepitaxy Technologies

  • Layer systems and gradient layers for precision optical components (filters, mirrors)
  • Antireflective- and antireflective-antistatic coatings of optical components with high demands on stress reduction and climatic resistance (spectacle lenses, optics)
  • Acoustically effective layers on surface acoustic wave components
  • Layers and layer systems for magnetic and optical storage media (hard disks, CD, DVD)
  • Mechanical protective layers for magnetic heads and sensors
  • Contact layer systems and diffusion barriers in electronic components for use at elevated temperatures
  • Electrical insulator, barrier and other functional layers for sensors (e.g. gas sensors)
  • Photocatalytic layers, insulator and barrier layers for components in biotechnology and medical technology
  • Piezoelectric layers for ultrasonic microscopy and for the generation of micro-energy (Energy Harvesting)

Optical interference coatings

Piezo-electric layers

Electrical insulation layers

  • optical filters for laser optics, spectroscopy applications
  • anti-reflex layers on lenses for glasses
  • Fluoride layers and fluorine-containing layers for UV applications
  • Hydrogen-containing layers for IR applications
  • for micro-systems (MEMS), BAW, SAW
  • for ultrasound microscopy
  • for energy harvesting
  • for sensors (also component-integrated)
  • for microelectronics
  • for photovoltaics
  • SiO2, Si3N4, Ta2O5, TiO2, Al2O3, HfO2, Nb2O5
  • low thermal load on the substrate
  • good adhesion and durability even on plastic substrates
  • very low absorption and scattering losses
  • deposition rates 1 ... 4 nm/s
  • crystalline AlN and AlScN layers with high c-axis orientation
  • deposition rates: 2 … 4 nm/s
  • piezoelectric coefficients up to
    d33 = 30 pm/V  
  • Al2O3, SiO2, Si3N4 as thin-film insulation with very good insulating properties
  • high deposition rate: 2 ... 4 nm/s
    (10 times higher than by RF sputtering)
  • effective deposition of thick insulation layers with electric strength of up to 1500 V
  • on flat and 3-dimensional substrates

SEM image of a SiXTaYOZ gradient-
coating system (rugate design)

SEM image of an AlN layer with strong c-axis orientation

Pressure sensors with electrical insulation layers
Passivation, protection and barrier layers Titanium-dioxide layers Functional layers
  • for sensors
  • for electronic components
  • photocatalytic, antibacterial
  • photo-induced superhydrophilic
  • for gas and moisture sensors
  • for surface-wave components
  • for electronic and MEMS components
  • Al2O3, SiO2, Si3N4
  • as diffusion barriers for sensor elements, for photovoltaics and for organic electronics
  • as an etching-stop layer
  • as a passivation layer


  • hardness may be adjusted from 7 ... 14 GPa
  • refractive index (VIS):
    n = 2.4 ... 2.7 adjustable
  • structure: amorphous, crystalline
    (anatase, rutile)
  • superhydrophilic after 30 minutes of UV-A irradiation (1 mW / cm2)
  • SiO2 layers for improved temperature stability in SAW components
  • TaN layers for thin-film resistors
SiO2 as a passivation layer for thin-film resistors Superhydrophilic titanium-dioxide layer (right) Surface-acoustic-wave (SAW) components
Layer type Examples Deposition rate [nm/s]
Al, Cr, Cu, … 15 … 25
Ni / Al, NiV7, CoNiCr… 10 … 15
binary compounds
Al2O3, AlN, AlF3, SiO2, Si3N4, TiO2, Ta2O5, Nb2O5, TaN, HfO2, …. 2 … 4
ternary compounds
gradient-coating systems
SiO2 → SiXOYNZ → Si3N4
Al2O3 → AlXOYNZ → AlN
SiO2 → SiXTaYOZ → Ta2O5
2 … 4
hybrid compounds


We use the following technologies to implement precisely tailored coatings and applications for our customers:

  • long-term stable high-rate magnetron sputtering (DC, MF, RF) for a variety of coatings such as metals, alloys, compounds, layer systems and gradient coatings
  • reactive pulse magnetron sputtering for multi-component compound and gradient coating systems
  • coating processes for stationary and moving substrates
  • high-rate PECVD

Advantages of our technologies are:

  • High layer thickness homogeneity on large areas
  • High reproducibility
  • Low-damage coatings
  • The possibility of 3D coating

For this purpose we offer in-situ spectrophotometry and ellipsometry.

Click on the following links to learn more about our technology portfolio.


Plasma-activated large-area and precision

We develop plasma-activated coating processes for industrial-scale manufacturing as well as economical and high-quality large-area coating based on PVD and PECVD processes. We offer suitable cleaning processes and plasma pre-treatment



Magnetron Sputtering:

  • reactive and non-reactive
  • DC
  • pulsed
  • MF
  • RF

Sheet-to-sheet coating

Sheet-to-sheet coating of flexible and rigid materials

  • glass
  • polymers
  • ceramics
  • (metals)

High-rate PECVD

  • magPECVD
  • arcPECVD

Flash Lamp Annealing

Flash lamp annealing

Thermal processing of thin layers in the millisecond range:

  • Static or dynamic
  • Large-area
  • Vacuum, air, reactive or inert atmosphere

More technologies

In addition to these coating technologies we are using and developing further technologies, such as:

  • methods for process monitoring
  • in-line plasma treatment

Technological key

We develop, manufacture, and integrate industrial electron-beam, coating, and plasma sources as well as specific supply, control, and regulation technology. We offer sample coatings and substrate treatments, technology transfer, commissioning, and customer support.

Several pilot and laboratory facilities are available at Fraunhofer FEP for our development work. During development projects, our pilot plants also enable us to investigate questions from technical scale-up to pilot production. Depending on the substrate, coating technique, and material deposited, we are able to employ the following facilities to optimize your coating solution:





ProjeCt name Description
DANAE Research on thin film and alignment technologies for nanoscale acoustic electronics
TopBePro Research on location-dependent coating profiles
Sub-topic: Coating technology for the deposition of location-dependent coating profiles and for particle-free precision coating on 2D and 3D-components
BiSWind Component-integrated sensor technology for power transmission elements in wind turbines
FoulingResist Efficiency improvement by reduction of fouling in heat pipes
Sub-topic: Internal coatings of pipes with fouling-resistant thin film coatings
HiPERFORM High performant Wide Band Gap Power Electronics for Reliable, energy efficient drivetrains and Optimization through Multi-physics simulation
InnoFlash Innovative pulse modulation for the operation of high-power flash lamps
RadarGlass Design and fabrication of functional glass surfaces for the manipulation of radar waves - RadarGlass; Subproject: Deposition of transparent conductive coatings for frequency selective surfaces
GLASS4FLEX New process technologies pave the way for flexible glass applications in optical systems
TASG Portable, self-sufficient and compact power generators
GaNESIS AIN/GaN epitaxy on silicon using reactive pulse magnetron sputtering
Pin3S Pilot Integration 3nm Semiconductor technology
3D-FF Sophisticated free-form coating of flat and 3-dimensional substrates using inline sputtering technology
PAR-ALD Reduction of corrosion and fouling through complete internal coating of heat exchangers with functional surfaces
Pilot line with state-of-the-art and robust manufacturing technology for free-form optical microstructures
GLASS4FLEX New process technologies pave the way for flexible glass applications in optical systems
CUSTOM Investigation of the material behavior of ultrathin flexible glass in layered composites
WOQ-COMP Key Components for Wireless, Optical and Quantum Communication


More information

Contact persons

Collaboration with our clients typically begins with a telephone call or email from the client in order to briefly describe the R&D requirement or technological problem, or to set up a meeting.

From that point onward, we work very closely with the client to develop a plan for the work, which leads to a proposal and bid, and finally to an R&D project. Confidentiality can be ensured from the beginning through a confidentiality agreement.

Please feel free to contact us. If we should not be available when you phone, then please send us a brief email and we will happily phone you back.

Jörg Neidhardt

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Jörg Neidhardt

Head of Business Unit and Head of Department S2S Technologies and Precision Coating

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstraße 28
01277 Dresden 

Phone +49 351 2586-280

Hagen Bartzsch

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Hagen Bartzsch

Group Manager: Static Precision Coating

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden, Germany 

Phone +49 351 2586-390

Daniel Glöß

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Daniel Glöß

Group Manager: Dynamic Precision Coating

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden, Germany 

Phone +49 351 2586-374

Alexander Martin Hinz

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Alexander Martin Hinz

Group Manager: Sputterepitaxy Technologies

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstraße 28
01277 Dresden

Phone +49 351 2586-393

Kerstin Täschner

Contact Press / Media

Dr.-Ing. Kerstin Täschner

Group Manager: S2S Sputtering and PECVD

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden, Germany

Phone +49 351 2586-376

Nicolas Schiller

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Nicolas Schiller

Division director: Plasma Technology

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden, Germany

Phone +49 351 2586-131

Fax +49 351 258655-131

Precision coating