Thin Films @ ALPS

Thin films development

Thin films are widely used to modify and improve properties of a large variety of substrates. Examples include hard coatings for tools, optical coatings on transparent materials, biocompatible coatings in medical applications, or as micro-electrodes.


Two research groups at ALPS focus on Thin Films. Various apects of the entire production chain, from process develpment, over thin film depostion and structuring to analysis are adressed.

thin films

Metallic coatings are deposited by PVD (electron-beam evaporation or sputtering). These coatings can furthermore by structured by lithography and etching steps to fabricate micro-electrodes. These processes take place in an ISO-6 cleanroom laboratory.

Multilayer systems composed of metal oxides and nitrites to modify optical properties can be made by PVD or by our PE-CVD deposition systems.

Hard coatings

Hard coating are usually ceramic like material and composed of, nitrides, carbides and oxydes. Their properties are strongly dependend on the depositon process. CVD-Processes allow for a very good 3D conformity, whereas pulsed plasma desposition system, such as HiPIMS produce very dense smooth coatings. A process to deposition a very particular hard coating,  nano-crystalline diamond is currently being developed in our institute.

Coating analysis includes topography (SEM,AFM, LSM, stylus), composition (GD-OES, SEM-EDX) and mechanical properties.



The competences in thin film deposition developed at ALPS over the years find their application in many different industrial sectors. Working in applied research we focus on the needs of our industrial partners, from process development to thin film characterization.