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In-situ monitoring of surface structure during deposition and post-deposition treatment

Objective



SURFACES ARE INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT IN MANUFACTURING SINCE NOT THE ENTIRE PRODUCT MUST BE MADE OF THE EXPENSIVE RAW MATERIAL. NEW PRODUCTS HITHERTO UNKNOWN BECOME POSSIBLE DUE TO PARTICULAR SURFACE PROPERTIES. ON THIS MARKET, EUROPEAN INDUSTRY IS TRADITIONALLY STRONG, BUT ESPECIALLY THE HIGHLY INNOVATIVE SME'S FACE PRESSURE ON THE MARKET TO FULFIL THEIR CUSTOMERS DEMAND FOR FLEXIBLE MANUFACTURING OF HIGH SURFACE-QUALITY PRODUCTS.
TILL NOW, DESTRUCTUVE METHODS TO INVESTIGATE THE PROPERTIES OF SURFACES, SUCH AS NANOINDENTATION AND MICROSCOPY, ARE WIDELY USED. THEY ARE VERY TIME-CONSUMING AND CARRIED OUT AFTER FINISHING THE ENTIRE FILM. IN-SITU MONITORING OF THE SURFACE STRUCTURE DURING DEPOSITION AND POST-DEPOSITION TREATMENT IS THE KEY TO A SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN THE MANUFACTURING EFFICIENCY. IN A FIRST STEP, ITALLOWS TO GET STRUCTURAL DATA IN REAL TIME IN A NON-DESTRUCTUVE WAY AND TO DETERMINE THE DEPOSITION PARAMETERS ACCORDINGLY. FURTHERMORE, IT PROVIDES THE NECESSARY DATA TO DEVELOP AND ESTABLISH ACTUATORS, WHICH WILL AUTOMATICALLY ADJUST DEPOSITION PARAMETERS TO GUARANTEE A PERFECT FILM QUALITY. ONE EXAMPLE, WHERE THE DETERMINATION OF DEPOSITION PARAMETERS IS A HIGHLY COMPLEX TASD, ARE GRADIENT MATERIALS, I.E. DUE TO A CHANGING CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OVER THE THICKNESS OF THE FILM, ITS PROPERTIES ARE MODIFIED. THIS ENABLES FOR EXAMPLE A COATING TO BE VERY SOFT AND ADHESIVE TO THE SUBSTRATE AND TO BE VERY HARD AT ITS SURFACE. THE IN-SITU MONITORING OF SURFACES WILL BE APPLIED, FOR INSTANCE, TO GRADIENT MATERIALS FOR HARD COATINGS OR BIOCOMPATIBLE THIN FILMS, SUCH AS TINX OY CZ AND HYDROXY APATITE, RESPECTIVELY. THE NECESSITY TO FIND OUT SOPHISTICATEDMETHODS TO MEET THE TECHNICAL-SCIENTIFIC NEEDS OF INDUSTRY TO SATISFY THE DEMAND OF THE END-USER, REQUIRES A COLLABORATION BETWEEN INDUSTRY, ESPECIALLY SME'S, AND UNIVERSITY LABORATORIES ON AN EUROPEAN LEVEL. THIS IS SO, BECAUSE FOR SOPHISTICATED SURFACE TECHNOLOGIES ONLY VERY SENSIBLE METHODS, I.E. FROM THE LEADING EDGE OF RESEARCH, CAN BE SUCCESSFULLY APPLIED. IT IS PROPOSED TO CARRY OUT A FEASIBILITY STUDY IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH A NETWORK TO BRING TOGETHER THE UNIVERSITY LABORATORIES AT THE LEADING EDGE IN IN-SITU SURFACE STRUCTURE CHARACTERISATION AND INDUSTRY, ESPECIALLY THE HIGHLY MOTIVATED STAFF OF SME'S WITH THEIR POTENTIAL IN MANUFACTURING TAILOR-MADE PRODUCTS FOR THEIR COSTOMERS. IF APPROVED, THE APPLICANTS WILL FORM A CORE FOR THE NETWORK TO BE ESTABLISHED, BECAUSE THEY ARE EXPERIENCED IN SOPHISTICATED DEPOSITION TECHNOLOGY AND LEADING-EDGEIN-SITU MONITORING METHODS. THE NETWORK WILL CONTRIBUTE TO A HITHERTO UNKNOWN IMPROVEMENT IN SURFACE PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY ENABLING THE MANUFACTURER TO GAIN MARKET SHARE WITH COMPLETELY NEW PRODUCTS OR QUALITY-IMPROVED EXISTING ONES SUCH DEFENDING THE STRONGHOLD OF EUROPEAN MATERIALS ENGINEERING

Funding Scheme

EAT - Exploratory awards (thematic networks)

Coordinator

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Address
Parks Road
OX1 3PH Oxford
United Kingdom

Participants (2)

DUENNSCHICHT- UND OBERFLAECHENTECHNOLOGIE GMBH
Germany
Address
9,Charles-darwin-ring, 1A
18059 Rostock
UNIVERSITY OF AVEIRO
Portugal
Address
Campus Universitario De Santiago
3800 Aveiro/eixo