Plasma Surface Engineering @ ALPS

Eurostars: COMBIMAT

Innovative Ion Beam technology and high precision engineering span togesther for the manufacture of combinatorial material libraries.


The project goal is to develop, and validate a new type of physical vapour deposition (PVD) system that uses an original multi beam sputtering (MBS) technology to do multicomponent, multilayer and high quality thin films combinatorial libraries.


There is an increasing demand for tools to rapidly synthesise complex new materials (e.g. metallic glasses or high entropy alloys that include many elements) by means of combinatorial thin film libraries ( multiple spatially dependent compositions). The microstructure of such materials is dependent upon deposition temperature, which is thus also a parameter to be optimized. COMBIMAT extends the number of elements and temperatures that can be screened at once, compared to the competition.


The contribution of the Plasma Surface Engineering group to the project is related to the design of an innovative sample holder, consisting of high precision moveable apertures and a stage with micro-heaters together with software to guide an efficient statistical Design of Experiment (DOE) approach to the material discovery process.


COMBIMAT will commercialise a tool for material discovery via deposition of combinatorial material libraries by combining a versatile physical vapour deposition (PVD) system with a unique removable multi-temperature sample holder and motion programmable mask.


COMBIMAT is a Eurostars project 


Federal Departement of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER
State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI
International Cooperations in Research and Innovation


Polygon Physics SAS, France

Alemnis AG, Switzerland

EMPA, Switzlerland