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Surface functionalization

The Surface functionalization group deals with the chemical modification of polymer surfaces and interfaces to achieve tailor-made properties. In particular, coatings, electron beam induced (grafting) reactions and surface pretreatment methods are applied.

Through specific functionalization, the surface of a material can be modified and tailored without changing or compromising the volume properties. The targeted modification of interfaces also enables the production of materials with new or improved properties.

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Different strategies for customized surfaces: Grafting, skin crosslinking, coating and activation

Electron beam induced reactions

Polymer surfaces can be modified in many ways by low-energy and thus surface-sensitive electron beam irradiation. In so-called e-grafting, a functional polymer is covalently bonded to the polymer surface, resulting in a long-term stable, nanometer-thin modification. However, certain polymers can also be selectively crosslinked on the surface by electron beam irradiation without the need of adding additives, which makes them more scratch-resistant, for example.


Coatings represent a very versatile possibility for surface functionalization. We are particularly concerned with radiation-curing coatings and develop new processes for attractive surface properties. We have a range of different coating methods, various UV lamps and our electron beam emitter (EBLab200 from COMET) at our disposal.

Surface pretreatment methods

Many polymers require pretreatment as preparation for bonding, coating or printing in order to increase their surface energy. We have experience with the application and effects of various pretreatment methods.


The pretreatment and activation of polymer surfaces is essential for numerous processes

We work on projects financed directly or with third-party funds with industrial partners as well as on basic research projects with various academic partners. Please contact us with your question so that we can together define a suitable cooperation model.