Flexible nano coatings

We are investigating gas phase and surface processes relevant for plasma coating and etching processes. Thorough understanding of the energetic processes including simulations enables us to tailor functionalized surfaces considering the flexibility of substrates such as fibers, textiles, membranes etc.

Requirements for applications in aqueous environments are met by our high performing and permanent plasma coatings, also regarding the interaction of water with the surface and sub-surface (bioresponse, corrosion, wettability, adhesion, defined degradability etc.). As a research highlight, the orientation of water molecules within hydrophobic-to-hydrophilic layers induces additional interaction forces modulating, for example, protein adsorption.

Our knowledge extends to the successful transfer of plasma processes (etching, cleaning, plasma polymerization, sputtering) to industry supported by pilot-plant reactors both for web and fiber coating as well as simulation tools including cost models.

Reel-to-reel plasma process for fiber treatmentReel-to-reel plasma process for fiber treatment

- Deposition of plasma coatings with film properties such as hydrophilic/ hydrophobic,

antimicrobial, antistatic, conductive, permanence and washing fastness, friction-reducing etc. without influencing the substrate (e.g. textile) properties.

- Formation of vertical chemical gradient films through variation of plasma conditions during deposition reducing aging effects, improving adhesion, enabling well-controlled drug delivery and affecting protein adsorption.

- Etching processes on polymers exposing embedded structures to the surface or widening pores.

- Development and modification of plasma reactors supporting the optimization of plasma processes, also regarding scalability. By using pilot-plant reactors the conditions for the transfer of plasma processes into industry are examined.

- Simulation of gas flow within plasma reactors and gas transport to substrate surfaces supporting process optimization and up-scaling.

Gas flow simulation (2D) in a plasma reactor: The gas inlet at the bottom is facing the substrate (white bar), while pumping proceeds on the left side.
Dr. Dirk Hegemann

Dr. Dirk Hegemann
Group Leader Plasma & Coating

Phone: +41 58 765 7268