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 Thin Film Science:

               In recent years, thin film science has grown world-wide into a major research area. The importance of coatings and the synthesis of new materials for industry have resulted in a tremendous increase of innovative thin film processing technologies. Currently, this development goes hand-in-hand with the explosion of scientific and technological breakthroughs in microelectronics, optics and nanotechnology [1]. A second major field comprises process technologies for films with thicknesses ranging from one to several microns. These films are essential for a multitude of production areas, such as thermal barrier coatings and wear protections, enhancing service life of tools and to protect materials against thermal and atmospheric influences [2, 3]. Presently, rapidly changing needs for thin film materials and devices are creating new opportunities for the development of new processes, materials and technologies. Therefore, basic research activities will be necessary in the future, to increase knowledge, understanding, and to develop predictive capabilities for relating fundamental physical and chemical properties to the microstructure and performance of thin films in various applications. In basic research, special model systems are needed for quantitative investigations of the relevant and fundamental processes in thin film materials science. In particular, these model systems enable the investigation of i.e. nucleation and growth processes, solid state reactions, the thermal and mechanical stability of thin film systems and phase boundaries. Results of combined experimental and theoretical investigations are a prerequisite for the development of new thin film systems and the tailoring of their microstructure and performance.

[1]. WTEC Panel Report on R & D Status and Trends in Nanoparticles, Nanostructured Materials, and Nanodevices, R. W. Siegel, E. H. Hu, M. C. Roco, Workshop 1997 (http://itri.loyola.edu/nano/us_r_n_d/toc.htm)

[2]. Surface Engineering, Science and Technology I, Editors : A. Kumar, Y.-W. Chung, J. J. Moore, J. E. Smugeresky, The Minerals, Metals &Materials Society, Warrendale, 1999.

[3]. Hard Coatings, Edited by A. Kumar, Y.-W. Chung, R. W. J. Chia, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, Warrendale, 1998.

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