Coating Characterization

Coatings can improve the application properties of a substrate significantly. For development and application of such coating systems the relevant properties have to be measured in a precise and reproducible manner.

Our main fields of expertise are tribology, contact mechanics and surface acoustic wave spectroscopy with extensive know-how in methodology, application and process development. Our characterization comprises all kinds of coatings with emphasis on PVD coatings and superhard amorphous carbon coatings (ta-C).


Service offers

Subject of our work is the characterization of coatings of all kinds in the range of 0.1… 500 µm thickness, with emphasis on PVD coatings and amorphous carbon coatings (often called DLC). Based on our everyday work, we are especially experienced in the field of superhard, tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C).


LAwave - Laser acoustic test system

The LAwave measuring system, developed at the Fraunhofer IWS, allows non-destructive characterization of films and material surfaces, for example measurement of Young’s modulus, coating thickness, density, porosity, delamination, and depth of hardening or damage layers.



  • Tribometers
  • LAwave measurement system
  • Scratch tester
  • Nano and micromechanical testing devices
  • Crater-grinding method
  • Contact mechanical simulation
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Microscopy and other imaging methods

Highlights and Scientific Experise


Tribology Innovation Center Dresden (TICD)

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