© Dagmar Fischer
Due to a continuously increasing demand for mobility and energy, the sustainable use of resources and the reduction of greenhouse gases are a dominant aspect for future activities in the field of science and industry. In order to permanently reduce pollutant emissions, a complex interplay of various factors is required. Materials, and especially their surfaces, play an important role in this complex technology puzzle.
The targeted improvement of material properties through surface technology is relevant in a wide variety of industrial areas (energy production, space and aviation technology, mobility, or even microelectronics). A key technology here is physical vapor deposition (PVD), which has a wide range of design options with regard to coating materials and architectures. In order to improve the efficiency and usability of highly stressed precision components in a wide variety of industrial applications, the development of new, tailor-made coating materials is required. By developing ultra-high-temperature resistant wear and erosion protection layers, but also corrosion-resistant layers and thermal insulation layers, the durability and resilience of various precision components should be increased. Especially in stationary and flying gas turbines, but also in other energy-generating applications (hydropower or green energy technologies such as hydrogen applications), the well-known and researched standard layers quickly reach their limits.
The Applied Surface and Coating Technology research group is dedicated to these tasks, relying on a broad experimental portfolio of plasma-based deposition techniques (PVD based despositions, e.g. DCMS, HiPIMS, Arc evaporation) as well as high-resolution characterization methods such as various electron microscopy techniques (SEM, HR-TEM, FIB), Atom probe tomography (APT), structural analysis by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD), micro-mechanical tests, or thermo-mechanical analysis (DSC / TG). In addition, application-oriented test stands such as for hot gas corrosion, erosion or material fatigue (LCF / HCF) represent an ideal addition to the portfolio. Theoretical methods such as atomistic modeling using DFT are also used when selecting layers.