Current Events:

Thin Films

Thin films are ubiquitous in technical applications. From windshield coatings to electronic devices, small functional layers greatly increase the usability of components or are even necessary for the functionality of devices all together. Therefore it is easy to understand why researching thin films is very important in our efforts to solve the problems of the future.
One focal topic of our thin films research is solid state dewetting, which describes the degradation of a thin layer of material into an energetically favourable set of droplets. This process on the one hand can dramatically shorten the lifespan of electronic devives, but on the other hand can also be used to produce tailored nanoparticles. In our research we try to understand the underlying mechanisms of solid state dewetting and also characterize the resulting particles in follow-up experiments.

Selected Publications

  • F. Niekiel, P. Schweizer, S.M. Kraschewski, B. Butz, E. Spiecker "The process of solid-state dewetting of Au thin films studied by in situ scanning transmission electron microscopy Acta Materialia 90, pp. 118-132, (2015), DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2015.01.072
  • B.I. Birajdar, T. Antesberger, B. Butz, M. Stutzmann and E. Spiecker Direct in situ transmission electron microscopy observation of Al push-up during early stages of the Al-induced layer exchange Scripta Materialia 66 (2012) 8, 550-553, DOI: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2011.12.045