Research and Development at the Institute for Materials and Surface Technology

At the IMST the emphasis of R&D activities is placed on functional coatings and nanomaterials for diverse applications, including

  • functionalized coatings for medical appliances
  • novel antibiofouling films for sub-sea monitoring systems
  • energy harvesting and energy storage,
  • solar-selective absorber and thermochromic coatings,
  • nanostructured films for photo- and electrocatalysis,
  • nanostructured substrates for molecular detection using localized surface plasmons, bactericidal films etc.

Desirable functionalities originate from the proper choice of materials and from tailoring chemistry and topology (ordered porosity, control of structure dimensions..). The coatings are mainly processed using environmentally friendly and sustainable deposition methods such as electrochemical and solution deposition methods, but our expertise extends to PVD methods. These activities are bundled in the framework of the Competence Center “Functional Surfaces” where specific R&D solutions can be worked out for industrial partners.

    Keyactivities at the IMST

    • Development of a prototype for a fast test to identify toxic nanoparticles
    • Functionalized surfaces with hydrophilic and anti-adhesive properties for optimized silicone appliances in medical technology, e.g. the application to contact lenses
    • Development and characterization of novel anti-biofouling films for sub-sea optical monitoring systems
    • Development of sustainable and costeffective supercapacitor electrodes for energy storage
    • Nanomaterials for waste-water treatment via photocatalysis
    • Development of substrates with one-dimensional noble metal nanomaterial arrays for sensing and electrocatalysis
    • Development of corrosion protection coatings with anti-fouling functionality (non-leaching) for offshore structures