Polymer surfaces

Surface modification of polymers is our expertise

Modifying the surface properties of polymers paves the way for new applications of these materials.

With many years of experience in polymer science and technology, we develop technologies for surface modification of polymers and for the production of organic coatings.

The modification of the surface properties of polymers opened up many new application areas for these materials. Surface activation improves the printability of polyethylene films (packaging), it allows lacquering polypropylene-based copolymers (car bumpers), and plastic parts can be adhesively joined. Nanometer sized functional coatings can act as diffusion barriers, prevent the settlement of microbes, or as robust carriers for functional molecules on virtually any substrate. Micrometer thick coatings can switch their properties under the influence of light. Micro-structured surfaces can have many optical and mechanical functions.

Our services include

  • activation and functionalization of polymer surfaces with low pressure plasma
  • plasma-enhanced thin film deposition
  • photochemical functionalization of surfaces, in particular with vacuum-ultraviolet excimer radiation
  • advanced flame treatment
  • functionalization of polymer surfaces using gas phase and liquid phase reactions

Our equipment

Our equipment ranges from laboratory scale up to small industrial scale. We can do plasma treatments in a chamber with up to 0.4 m3. Webs (films, fabrics) can be treated at a width of up to 30 cm with low pressure plasma as well as with Corona (dielectric barrier discharge), flames, VUV lamps, with various printing techniques at atmospheric pressure.

For the analysis of surfaces and thin films we use state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Fraunhofer POLO

Together with other Fraunhofer colleagues we joined our competencies and equipment in the area of polymer surfaces. We can support our clients in complex projects, too. The Fraunhofer Alliance POLOcan realize realizes complex projects for clients developing new concepts, innovative processes, and modern materials based on the surfaces of plastics and natural polymers.