Materials Protection and Surface Technology
Nanotribology and Nanostructuring of Surfaces
The Nanotribology and Nanostructuring of Surfaces division investigates mechanical, electrical and optical properties at a sub-micrometre scale using physico-chemical analytical methods. The focus here is on structural property relationships of complex polymer systems.
At the core is the study of functional and failure mechanisms of composites, internal and external surfaces, and the interfaces between polymer solids and organic, inorganic and metallic solids. From scales ranging from the sub-micrometre to the molecular level, we use highly sensitive methods that we develop in-house.
We use scanning probe microscopy or electron beam lithography to design material interfaces. Hybrid techniques such as the combination of electron microscopy with scanning probe microscopy or broadband dielectric spectroscopy with specific heat spectroscopy are employed and enhanced. We also employ quasi-elastic and inelastic neutron scattering.
Fields of expertise
- Influencing mechanical and electrical properties using (nano)fillers, failure mechanisms, self-healing effects
- (Di)electric and thermal properties of polymers and liquid crystals in nanoconfinement, piezoelectric activity, electrospinning
- Imaging of oscillating micromechanical systems
- Scanning probe microscopy for stiffness, conductivity, polymer adhesion, viscoplasticity
- Nanoscale initiation of energetic materials
- Influence of low-energy electrons on biomolecules
- Anti-friction coatings for plasmon resonators and optical nanowires
- Engineering of nanomotors
- Discotic liquid crystals in nanoporous solids (DFG)
- Structure and molecular dynamics of ultra-thin films of molecular blendable polymers (DFG)
- Interreaction between epoxy matrix and nanoparticles (TP01, DFG Research Association 2021 “Acting Principles of Nano-Scaled Matrix Additives for Composite Structures”)
- Biological consequences of nanoscale energy deposition (DFG)
Range of services/technical equipment
- Dielectric (10µHz-1GHz) and thermal spectroscopy (10Hz-5kHz) between 150 °C and +400 °C
- Scanning-force microscopy in repulsive, intermittent and attractive contact (measurement of mechanical, electrical, magnetic, rheological, electromechanical properties); lithography, confocal Raman microscopy, EPI(DIC) microscopy
- FTIR, ATR, GIR/IRRAS, fibre coupling, DRIFT, ESCA, Raman, (E)SEM with EDX and EBL, UV/Vis, ESR
- Vapourisation, spincoating, electrospraying
Publications of the division