Fields of expertise

The scientific and technical expertise of the VINF members is defined according to the 3 different topics presented below.

Hard/superhard nano-structured wear and corrosion resistant films

Joint research efforts within the network lead to the development of novel methodologies and techniques for processing and characterization of hard/superhard wear and corrosion resistant Nano-structured Films with high properties and improved performance in service conditions. Technical/experimental and theoretical aspects have been considered.

081124_TiAlN_Coating Hard ball nose milling of 57 HRC hard steel using end-mills made of cemented carbide coated with different coatings, diameter 10 mm with minimum jet lubrication (Ó Dr. S. Veprek, TUM).
MillingTibor Dry milling of hard steel with tool coated with superhard nc-(Ti&-xAlx)N/a-Si3N4 nanocomposites (Ó Dr. T. Cselle, PLATIG A.G.).

Example 1:
Vacuum arc deposition (LARC) with rotating cylindrical cathodes combining the advantages of high deposition rates typical for the vacuum arc, with a smooth surface of the coatings. The LARC technology (arc deposition) allowed improving the impurities in industrially deposited superhard nanocomposite coatings down to an oxygen impurity of 0.1 at. % improving hardness and toughness of the coatings.

Example 2:
New atomistic model was developed for theoretical description of the nanoindentation process calculating the energy of single-wall carbon nanotubes of arbitrary chirality. This liquid surface model predicts the energy of a nanotube with relative error less than 1% once its chirality and the total number of atoms are known. It was shown that depending on the concentration of carbon-atom impurities in the catalytic nanoparticle the growth of a nanotube is either energetically favorable, or should stop.

see a summary of the roadmap of research

Biocompatible and wear resistant nano-structured films for surgical implants

The network also develops novel methodologies and techniques for processing and characterization of bioactive and biocompatible coatings for orthopaedic and dental implants.

Solutions for industries with new innovative biomaterials and material synthesis technology have been developed, such as:

  • Multifunctional bioactive nano-structured films for load-bearing implants;
  • HAP phosphate-based coatings for orthopaedic implants;
  • Biocompatible and wear-resistant coatings for articulating joint replacements; and
  • Surface bio-functionalization of surgical implants for cell guidance and control.
BioCoat illustration Porous Poly (D,L-Lactic Acid) film

Example:
Deposition technology by magnetron sputtering or ion implantation assisted magnetron sputtering of composite targets produced by self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) method was developed. Indeed, SHS targets can be successfully used for deposition of various multicomponent nanostructured films with enhanced characteristics, such as high hardness and adhesion strength, reduced Young’s modulus, low wear and friction, high thermal stability, oxidation- and corrosion resistance. They can be especially benefit for the deposition of multifunctional bioactive nanostructured films in which both metallic (Ca,Ti,Ta,Zr) and nonmetallic (C,N,O,Si,P) elements are present.

see a summary of the roadmap of research

Functional Nano-structured films

Novel nano-structured thin coatings are also studied. Multifunctional optical/decorative, self-cleaning coating and films for information storage were some of the topics that have been identified as a field of great interest for the network. The research is also focused on synthesis of nanoparticles for a variety of applications in the field of surface fabrication.

Arceo Roll-to-roll process under vacuum on steel: ARCEO (ArcelorMittal)

Example:
Proof of concept was made by the network for the fabrication of nanometric Ni lines and arrays on Si using low costs process combining mask-less lithography and electrodeposition.

roadmap of research not published yet

A roadmap for each subject was prepared by the VINF community, with the support of external scientists and industrials, giving an overview of:

  • The State-of-the-Art part, which establishes a clear statement of the current research, by doing a literature survey and a selection of relevant technological patents of products and processes.
  • The industrial demand, which describes the need in Nano-structured multifunctional Films worldwide in modern industry that will be based on a survey of existing coatings for various applications and of processing routes for fabrication of such coatings. Analyses were done on Films with new performances, taking into account the new environmental and administrative regulations.
  • Tendencies of the market were also highlighted and were connected to private and academic research trends.

The research roadmap documents are only accessible by the VINF members.