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Functionalisation of surfaces

We deal with the chemical modification of polymer surfaces; electron-beam-induced (grafting) reactions are used in particular.

With regard to surface functionalisation, we are concerned with the chemical modification of polymer surfaces in order to achieve tailored properties. Electron-beam-induced (grafting) reactions are used in particular. The modified substrates are characterised using suitable surface analytics methods.

By means of specific functionalisation, the surface of a material can be modified and tailored without changing or affecting the volume properties. Chemical surface functionalisation can most easily be applied to planar materials (sheets, plates, non-woven materials etc.). However, the modification of finished components is also possible in principle.


An important focus of the surface functionalisation group is electron-beam-induced grafting (e-grafting). A functional polymer is covalently joined to a substrate surface via e-grafting, achieving a modification that is stable in the long term. The unique method for functionalising plastic surfaces is characterised by how easy it is to implement.

A prerequisite for successful surface functionalisation is the use of low-energy electrons (100–200 keV) with a low penetration depth and the option to expose the samples in a two-dimensional format. A successful e‑grafting process results in a coating with a thickness of a few nanometres that gives the substrate an additional range of functions.

We work with an electron-beam emitter supplied by Swiss company COMET ebeam (EBLab 200). Thanks to the sector-leading technology provided by COMET ebeam, it is also possible and affordable to integrate electron-beam emitters into the industrial production environment.

Advantages of e-grafting

  • Suitable for coating different polymer substrates
  • Allows surface properties to be specifically formed

We work on directly financed and third-party-financed projects with industry partners as well as elementary projects with various academic partners. Please contact us with your question so that we can discuss and define a suitable collaboration model.


Dr. Sonja Neuhaus Gruppenleiterin Kompetenzfeld Oberflächenfunktionalisierung
Telephone : +41 56 202 78 95 (direct)
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