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Surface texturing

We make use of micro- and nanostructures to provide polymers with an additional function without changing their composition. For this purpose, we develop tools and processes for high fidelity replication of functional surface structures and use them in applied R&D projects.

We span the entire process chain from structure generation, tool development and industrial replication processes to surface and polymer analysis. Together with our partners from industry and academia, we realize sophisticated applications in the fields of life science and diagnostics, microoptics and safety as well as in various other areas that can benefit from structured polymer surfaces.

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Structure generation

For the production of functional surface structures, we use various manufacturing processes from microtechnology. Electron beam lithography and 2-photon polymerization allow high-precision mastering for optical and safety applications. Classical photo lithography is often suitable for less complex microstructures. We use these cleanroom technologies in close cooperation with the Paul Scherrer Institute.

3D laser micromachining is playing an increasingly important role in the context of tool structuring. In close cooperation with the FHNW Institute of Product and Process Engineering, we introduce microstructures directly into molding tools and transfer them into polymer components using various replication processes.

Tool development

We develop flexible tool concepts for demanding tasks in the field of polymer replication on micro- and nanoscale and implement them either project-specifically or as platform technologies for development. In the areas of precision machining and toolmaking, we maintain an extensive partner network in order to use the optimum manufacturing technologies for each project.

Replication by injection moulding

Injection molding is by far the most widespread production process for the industrial manufacture of polymer products. Variothermal mold temperature control, injection molding and online viscosity control are key elements for high-fidelity transfer of functional micro- and nanostructures into polymeric components. Our many years of experience in this field coupled with a sound understanding of materials and processes form a solid basis for demanding tasks in the context of replication.

Nanoimprint lithography (NIL)

Hot embossing is ideally suited for transferring even the smallest structures into polymer films true to detail. Structured wafers made of silicon or glass can be used directly as masters, eliminating the time-consuming tooling required for injection molding. Even higher replication accuracies can be achieved by means of UV embossing processes, provided that the use of UV coatings is suitable for the application.

Versatile surface analysis

With a wide range of state-of-the-art analytical methods, we can comprehensively characterize polymer surfaces in terms of topography and surface chemistry. We also have a broad base in the field of polymer analytics and are able to deal with material science issues in a professional manner.

Applied R&D projects

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.

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