Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, with some 35,000 to 40,000 students, is the second largest university in Bavaria. It was founded in 1743 and currently employs about 580 professors and around 3,500 teaching staff. These work in 5 faculties comprising about 24 departments as well as 25 clinics. The latest subjects of academic interest provide the focus of study for 11 Collaborative Research Centres, 17 Research Units, and 12 Research Training Groups, all funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation). Furthermore, 30 ERC grants have been awarded to FAU scientists so far. Theoretical and practical research complement and enhance each other perfectly. In this partnership the research institutions of the university work in cooperation with industry, for example, on establishing a ‘Medical Valley’ in the Central-Franconia area, and on developing new materials, mechatronics, and communication and information technologies. The university is closely linked to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light and two Fraunhofer institutes located in Erlangen. A Helmholtz Centre was founded in 2013. The university is engaged in about 500 international cooperations. The latest Reuters innovation ranking recognized FAU as the most innovative German university and assigned it second position within Europe. Prof. Julien Bachmann (JB) leads the CTFM chair, which was established in 2017 and currently hosts of four postdoctoral researchers, twelve doctoral students, as well as fluctuating numbers of undergraduate students. This interdisciplinary team of chemists, physicists and engineers at FAU have used atomic layer deposition (ALD) for more than a decade, both as a tool for the creation of original, functional nanostructured interfaces and as a development goal of its own. In the framework of their research, JB and his group rely on ALD as the central tool for generating functional surfaces and interfaces of oxide and chalcogenide semiconductors (for photovoltaics), noble metal catalysts (for electrochemical energy conversion and storage in fuel cells and electrolyzers), dielectrics (for MEMS sensors among others), and magnetic materials (for data storage). The ALD-related experience of the team is extensive and varied. We have built ALD reactors of our own design, developed original ALD reactions, established ALD processes, and invented a novel technique, namely ALD from dissolved precursors (‘solution ALD’), which broadens the scope of ALD significantly beyond the confines of the traditional vapor-phase ALD. JB and the members of his team have maintained long-standing collaborations with several local and international companies. Recently, they have started a close collaboration with ATLANT 3D Nanosystems to establish the principles of additive manufacturing on the basis of ALD chemistry.

Company activities in the project
  • Development of the surface chemistry for thin film deposition