Team Thin Film Technologies


Thin-film technology enables the mass production of highly complex systems. The developmentof efficient and thus economically viable production methods is an important aspect for all kinds of energy converters and storage devices. This is why IEK-1 relies on physical and chemical vapor deposition (PVD/CVD), atomic layer deposition (ALD) and coating technologies based on liquid precursors and inks.

Physical vapor deposition
This technology is particularly suitable for dense layers on outer (“visible”) surfaces. IEK-1’s expertise is thermal and electron beam evaporation, pulsed laser deposition and magnetron sputtering (direct current, middle frequency, radio frequency, bi-polar or High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering). It is possible to deposit metals, as well as glasses or ceramics (for example oxides or nitrides).

Chemical vapor deposition
IEK-1 uses atomic layer deposition (ALD) for conformal coatings on inner surfaces of porous materials. Single atomic layers are built up in succession to achieve dense layers of a few nanometers thickness. Relatively low coating temperatures (100-300 ° C) can be achieved by using metal-organic precursors.

Liquid precursor-based films
Wet-chemical coating methods are based on emulsions, sols or solutions which are coated on substrates. Subsequent heat treatment leads to dense layers. Spin coating, dip coating and inkjet printing in a cleanroom environment are used to apply the liquids.

Thin-film technologies at IEK-1 lead to outstanding performance improvements of energy converters and storage devices, as protective layers in batteries, and as electrochemically active layers in solid state batteries, fuel cells and gas separation membranes.

Research area

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC)
cathode materials, perovskites, electronic and ionic conductivity in solids, SOFCs with metallic substrates, solid state batteries thermal conductivity in solids, thermo-electrical forces, phase transitions (structural, magnetic, metal-insulator)

Thin film technology (physical vapour deposition (PVD)
sputtering, electron beam evaporation), electrical measurement technology, vacuum and cryogenic technology

Last Modified: 25.11.2022