The Styrian activities in nano Surface Engineering: Development of nanostructured coatings for the design of multifunctional surfaces

author: Wolfgang Waldhanser, Montanuniversität Leoben
published: Feb. 7, 2008,   recorded: October 2007,   views: 367
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Description

The surface of technical products and components of daily life determines properties like visual appearance, friction and wear behaviour, corrosion and oxidation properties and biocompatibility. Well-known examples can be found in the tool industry, where the lifetime of tools is increased by hard wear-resistant coatings and surfaces, in the optical industry, where reflectance of mirrors or absorbance of lenses is controlled via thin films, in microelectronics, where integrated circuits are built from individual layers of different electrical properties, or in data storage devices, where thin layers with tailored magnetic behaviour are utilized. Surface engineering, i.e. the design of surfaces with tailored properties, plays a dominating role in modern engineering, emerging from structural components in mechanical engineering, where significant increase in performance and lifetime have been realized, to functional devices in electronics, optoelectronics or data storage, where surface engineering is an enabling technology. For this reason, surface engineering is being classified in all industrial countries as a key technology. The methods available range from well developed techniques, which have been in industrial use for several decades, to highly sophisticated processes emerging from their former position as experimental laboratory techniques. In particular, modern plasma- and laser-assisted vapour deposition methods have been developed rapidly, where coatings and surfaces are designed atom-by-atom, thus enabling their design on the nano-scale. Austria and in particular Styria have strong research activities in the field of Surface Science & Technology at universities and non-university research organisations as well as in industry. The design of functional thin coatings in the nanometre range is one primary objective. Within the frame of the Austrian nano initiative a research project cluster (RPC) consisting of 10 fundamental and applied research projects has been established in Styria. Long-term scientific goal of the RPC entitled “NANOCOAT” (Development of nanostructured coatings for the design of multifunctional surfaces) is to develop the knowledge and the methods which are necessary for a load oriented design of coatings and surfaces with regard to their chemical composition, nanostructure, morphology of phases, topography, and architecture. The activities focus on the interrelationship between coating materials, the deposition process and the resulting multiphase micro- / nanostructure and coating architecture, the coating properties, and on the response of coatings onto specific loading conditions. In order to strengthen the activities in thin film technology in the Austrian province Styria a Center for Nanostructured Multi-functional Coatings and Deposition Technologies has been founded and established in Leoben. The so-called nanoSurface Engineering Center (nSEC) is a joint venture of the University of Leoben and JOANNEUM RESEARCH. The R&D activities of the nSEC focus on the following three thematic areas: • coatings for tools • coatings for components • coatings for functional devices The presentation will give an introduction of the research project cluster NANOCOAT and the nanoSurface Engineering Center Leoben. The scientific part of the presentation will show project results and will give a benchmarking of different plasma- and laser-assisted vapour deposition techniques. In addition potential areas of application will be shown.

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