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ATOMIC LAYER DEPOSITION

Within the Emmy Noether junior research group funded by the German Research Foundation, thin film coatings for optical applications are developed and characterized. Dielectric and metallic functional coatings deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD) are essential for the development of improved and innovative nanostructured optics. Atomic layer deposition is a powerful coating technology with excellent thickness control, uniformity, and conformal film deposition on high aspect ratio nanostructures. Thermal and plasma enhanced deposition are carried out to obtain optical coatings with optimized properties. The optical properties derived from in-situ and ex-situ ellipsometric characterization are complemented by the computational design of optical elements. Research is focused on:

  • deposition and characterization of optical coatings
  • understanding nucleation and film growth of thin films
  • development of novel ALD processes

Research areas

The Atomic Layer Deposition Group aims to establish this technology for the development of novel and improved optical elements. We currently focus on devel-oping atomic layer deposited coatings for:

  • low and high refractive indices
  • porous materials
  • advanced nanostructuring technologies
  • interference coatings
  • functional coatings for diffractive optical elements
  • space & laser technology, spectrometry, UV-VIS, DUV,
  • EUV, BEUV, x-ray optics
  • understanding chemical reactions during nucleation
  • and film growth

Teaching fields

Dr. Szeghalmi currently mentors three doctoral students and a postdoctoral scientist. Graduate students interested in hands-on experience in optical coatings and optical design are welcome to join the group. A course on inorganic and organic materials in photonics is in preparation.

Research methods

The ALD facility led by Dr. Szeghalmi has two plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition reactors at hand. Both are located in a clean room environment and are equipped with in situ monitoring techniques for experimental characterization by means of spectroscopic ellipsometry in the 245...1700 nm spectral range. The equipment comprises:

  • OpAL PEALD, Oxford Plasma Technologies
  • Sunale R200, Picosun Oy
  • J. A. Woollam spectroscopic ellipsometer

>> link to the Atomic Layer Deposition Group

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