Why thin films and coatings?
Whether your use your computer, tablet or smartphone, if your car consumes less gasoline because of low gear friction, when your eyeglasses look good because they aren't reflecting: it is always thin films and coatings that make these daily life's product work as they should.
Thin films and coatings enable us to render the properties of the zones near a surface to be very different from the underlying material. Hard coatings may protect the underlying softer part from premature wear; the electronic properties of thin films in microelectronics are very different from those of the silicon chip, and the bio-response of surface-treated implants may be specifically tuned for optimal acceptance by human cell tissue.
The development of new thin films and their combinations are a therefore an important way of promoting technology towards products and processes that ease our daily lives.
Some examples for thin films in our daily lives:
Left: Integrated electronics (courtesy Samsung), Center: Anti-reflective coatings for eyewear (courtesy Effectglass), Right: Low friction coatings in machinery (courtesy Oerlikon Balzers)