Site: Darmstadt University of Technology
Department of Materials Science
Thin Films Division
Petersenstrasse 23
D-64287 Darmstadt, Germany
Tel: (49) 6151-16 6306; Fax: (49) 6151-16 6335

Date Visited: 14 October 1997

WTEC: J. Mendel (report author)



The Darmstadt University of Technology has recently focused on nanomaterials. Its new building for material science was completed in 1992 and was officially dedicated in 1996. Here work includes particles, films, coatings, and bulk phase. Interest is in pores, grains, and clusters. Preparation methods can include gas vapor phase condensation, chemical vapor deposition, liquid plasma studies, chemical deposition, and sputtering. Electrical, mechanical, and spectral properties are all of interest.

There are 22 scientists in Professor Dr. Hahn's group. Interaction with industry and other technical centers occur frequently.


  1. Preparation of SiC by chemical vapor synthesis (Sylkie Klein). This work emphasizes both high purity and high production rates.
  2. Synthesis of ZrO2/Al2O3 by chemical vapor synthesis (Vladimir Srdic). Beginning with aluminum alkoxide, particles are formed in the 4-9 nm size range. Flow rate of helium influences properties.
  3. Impedance spectra on nano Y-stabilized zirconia (Pia Mondal). Powders are prepared by inert gas condensation. The lattice conductivity appears to be independent of grain size.
  4. Synthesis and characterization of nanofilms with chemical vapor deposition and synthesis (Stefan Siegfried). Both boron carbide and silicon carbide are deposited on a silicon substrate.
  5. Synthesis of metal-matrix composite coatings (Andreas Moller). Results lead to improved hardness, wear resistance, and thermal stability.
  6. Very thin films (Stefan Flege). This work involves layer growth at 3,000 degrees Celsius for vapor metal/ceramics applications.


  • Mechanical Creep Device
  • SIMS
  • HTEM
  • Electron Probe
  • IR
  • XRD
  • Diffractometer
  • SEM
  • Molecular Beam Instrumentation
  • TEM
  • Low Pressure Flow Chemical Vapor Synthesis
  • Sputtering Equipment

    About 60-75% of the equipment is paid through state support. Additional funding takes place through industrial collaboration.


    The Thin Films Lab at the University of Darmstadt is strongly positioned for preparation and characterization of nanoparticle systems. Their work reflects the University's commitment to expand the understanding needed for particles, films, coatings, and bulk phase.

    Published: September 1999; WTEC Hyper-Librarian