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About the Thin Films and Interfaces Group

Our group focuses on the preparation of highly defined thin films by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) for applications in energy technology, but also for new properties, such as multiferroicity. We are working on the fundamental understanding of the PLD process, the influence of strain on material properties and we utilize the large facilities at PSI (neutrons, muons, and photons from the SLS). We therefore cooperate with many groups within the NUM, ENE and SYN divisions, and offer in addition a thin film deposition service.

Progress in energy technology is closely related to the development of new functional materials. Advancing competence in the preparation and characterization of new functional materials is therefore a strategic aim of our group. Due to its focus on application in energy technology, this research program differs from those of Materials Research Departments at other Swiss research institutions.

Frequently, new functional materials are either not available on a commercial basis, or their availability, specifications, and prices are not compatible with the demands of advanced energy technology. In today's competitive industrial situation, time to market is often a decisive criterion for the success of innovative solutions. Requirements for completing the development of novel materials in a short time are the ability to translate materials requirements into preparation procedures, test the samples on site, and develop the functional materials into products available in the required shapes and quantities, in collaborations with industrial partners. This strategy serves as a guideline for our projects in materials research, which may be divided into the areas development, characterization, and processing.