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.

The services we provide cover customized development of key components, processes and layer systems right through to scale-up and transfer of integrated packages of hardware and technology into production.

Our offer

Our services encompass all of the necessary steps in a development project – from the conceptualization phase to transfer of the technology:

  • Feasibility studies, consulting, training
  • Conceiving of R&D projects with work packages, milestones, costs
  • Development and optimization of coating technologies and layer systems for your application
  • Development of key components (magnetron sputtering sources, plasma etching units) customized to the requirements of the specific coating task
  • Sample coatings and pilot production
  • Development and manufacturing of demonstrators
  • Transfer of integrated packages (comprising key components, fully automatic control and regulating technology) to production plants
  • Evaluation of costs and support in the scale-up phase
  • Licensing

This development work is supplemented and assisted by:

  • Acquisition and coordination of state, federal, and EU-funded projects
  • Economic viability studies

Applications

Application examples

  • Antireflective layer systems for spectacle lenses
  • Electrical insulations layers for pressure sensors
  • Temperature compensation layers for surface acoustic wave components
  • Gradient layer systems for rugate-filters or IR edge filters
  • Stationary reactive coatings on 8” wafers
  • Magnetron sputtering for coating of discs
 

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
wearables

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.

 

Transport

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.

 

Mechanical
engineering

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.

  • 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]
metals
Al, Cr, Cu, … 15 … 25
alloys
Ni / Al, NiV7, CoNiCr… 10 … 15
binary compounds
Al2O3, AlN, AlF3, SiO2, Si3N4, TiO2, Ta2O5, Nb2O5, TaN, HfO2, …. 2 … 4
ternary compounds
SiXOYNZ, AlXOYNZ, SiXTaYOZ, AlXScYNZ 2 … 4
gradient-coating systems
SiO2 → SiXOYNZ → Si3N4
Al2O3 → AlXOYNZ → AlN
SiO2 → SiXTaYOZ → Ta2O5
2 … 4
hybrid compounds
SiXCPOQHR, SiXCPOQNR, SiXTiYCPOQHR 5 … 15

Technologies

We use the following technologies to implement precisely fitting layers and applications for our customers:

  • High-rate magnetron sputtering (DC, MF, RF) with long-term stability suitable for a range of layers such as metals, alloys, compounds, layer systems and gradient layers
  • Reactive pulse magnetron sputtering for multi-component compound and gradient layer systems
  • Coating processes for stationary and in-line substrates
  • High-rate PECVD

Learn more about our technology offering at the links below:

 

Sputtering

We utilize and develop sputtering technologies in order to efficiently apply layers and multilayer systems in vacuo to large areas.

 

High-rate PECVD

Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) using microwave or high frequency (HF) plasma is an established process for depositing silicon-based polymer layers for various applications. Vapor-phase monomers enter a reaction chamber and are ionized, excited, or decomposed by a plasma.

Precision coating

  • Homogeneous layer thicknesses on large areas
  • High reproducibility
  • Low-defect coatings
  • 3D-coatings
  • In-situ spectral photometry and ellipsometry
 

Technology transfer

  • Technology transfer and introduction of the process into production
  • Technology transfer including fitting plants with key components
    (also retro-fit of existing plants)
  • Scale up of processes and technologies for industrial plants

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:

 

 

 

Projects

Project Name Discription
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

Press





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.

Peter Frach

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Peter Frach

Division Director

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden, Germany

Phone +49 351 2586-370

Fax +49 351 258655-370

Hagen Bartzsch

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Hagen Bartzsch

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden, Germany 

Phone +49 351 2586-390

Daniel Glöß

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Daniel Glöß

Fraunhofer FEP
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden, Germany 

Phone +49 351 2586-374

Precision coating