PVD and Nanotechnology

Functionalized surfaces with unique properties for industry: hard, low-friction, electrically conductive or reflective. The PVD and Nanotechnology technology field develops processes and equipment technology for the production of thin films based on physical deposition processes. The coating systems range from friction- and wear-reducing carbon and hard material coatings for components and tools, nanometer multilayers for special optical applications to reactive multilayers for joining applications. The focus is on the production, application and characterization of the coatings designed for the various applications. In addition, we also develop own measurement methods and characterization processes, such as non-destructive laser acoustics.

The competences of our technology field in thin film technology, together with the main topic of laser material processing at Fraunhofer IWS, are combined with research work on tribological fundamental phenomena at the TU Dresden in the Tribology Innovation Center Dresden (TICD). Within this research consortium, the goal is to minimize friction and tribological losses and to develop easily transferable solutions for production processes for the toolmaking, mechanical engineering and automotive industries.

Research Topics


EUV and X-ray Optics


Reactive Multilayers


Carbon Coatings


Coating Characterization


PVD Coatings



Tribology Innovation Center Dresden (TICD)

Tribological coatings and surface modifications – expertise in friction reduction and wear protection



Contributions to efficiency enhancement in arc PVD coating of turbo engine components, Timeframe: 06/2022–05/2025


Vacuum arc deposition of MoS2/ta-C coatings and mechanical-tribological testing, Timeframe 06/2021–05/2025 (BMWK: FKZ: 100582372)


Ultra-smooth and super-lubricating coatings for component applications, Timeframe 09/2021–08/2024 (BMWK: FKZ: 03EN4005E)


Optimized reactive bonding technology based on novel zirconium systems for use in microsystems technology, Timeframe: 09/2020–05/2023 (BMBF, FKZ: 21347 BG)

Edge Sharpening

Coating technology for the targeted setting of edge radii, Timeframe: 06/2019–05/2022 (BMWK, FKZ: 20662BR)


High-performance carbon coatings for friction-optimized engine components, Timeframe 01/2019–06/2022 (BMWK: FKZ: 03ET1609E)


Model-based reactive joining to increase process safety and reliability, Timeframe: 11/2019–09/2022 (BMBF, FKZ: 20896 BG)

News and Media


Press release / 27.3.2024

The Sound of the Perfect Coating

Fraunhofer IWS Transfers Laser-based Sound Analysis of Surfaces into Industrial Practice with “LAwave”


News / 22.2.2023

More Efficient Coating Processes thanks to Simulation

Full simulation saves material and creates better results


News / 12.4.2022

High-precision reactive joining technology for microsystems engineering


Press release / 12.10.2021

Superlubricity eliminates friction in engines

Fraunhofer IWS works on machines that barely lose energy in the form of waste heat


News / 27.9.2021

Smooth process for high savings