Partner Country

In 2016 partner country of the 15th International Conference on plasma surface Engineering PSE 2016 is Switzerland.

Switzerland lies in the center of Europe and is especially popular for their wonderful landscapes in the Alps. In view of economy the industry of Switzerland produces high-end products, like medical devices, pharmaceuticals, precision instruments or luxury clocks [1]. The corporate landscape is mostly characterized by small and intermediate enterprises, as more than 99 % of all companies belong to this group [2]. According to an analysis of the UBS Group AG important fields of the working world of Switzerland are building trade (31,7 %), industries for clocks and precision instruments (10,4 %), metal working (9,6 %) and mechanical and vehicle construction (9,5 %) [3]. Therefore plasma and vacuum technologies are also for Switzerland very important key enabling technologies.

tl_files/pse2016/Bilder/Gruppenbild_WSEmpa.jpgIn conjunction with the partner country concept of PSE 2016 the 4th International EJC-PISE Workshop took place on June 29 – 30, 2016 in Dübendorf, near to Zürich, Switzerland. EFDS and Empa co-organized this Workshop with the topic “Surface and Thin Films – Analytics in Practice”.

On two days participants heard 8 talks from international speakers about the most important techniques for surface and thin film characterization. Surfaces and their specifically designed properties are nowadays integral parts of a very wide range of products. Knowing what is at a surface is a prime prerequisite for designing and tl_files/pse2016/Bilder/Zuerich_WSEmpa.jpgcontrolling the functional behavior of such surfaces. Today a broad variety of surface analytical techniques are available, which provide targeted and detailed insights into the chemical and structural properties of surfaces and thin films. They are indispensable tools for the successful development of surface treatments and coatings.

The program was rounded off with a lab tour through the Laboratories of Empa.

   >  Program 

A special exhibition area for Swiss companies will be provided in the accompanying exhibition of PSE 2016. All Swiss companies and Institutes are specifically invited to join the exhibition and send their abstracts for the conference. All Swiss Partners have the opportunity to present a short overview of their work on the PSE-Partner Country website. An overview of Swiss partners on PSE 2016 will be presented in the conference booklet.


Exhibitors of Switzerland on PSE 2016

(as at February 01, 2016)


Research on Plasma Surface Engineering in Switzerland

   ETH Zürich, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, tl_files/pse2016/PartnerCountry/ETH_logo.png
   Institute of Process Engineering 


Plasma research at the Transport Processes and Reactions Laboratory (LTR) of the ETH Zurich focuses on the plasma surface modification of granular materials at both low pressure and atmospheric pressure. Specific plasma reactors have been developed at LTR in order to improve with a homogenous surface treatment the properties of several granular materials of industrial interest, and proper plasma-diagnostic and surface-analysis techniques are utilized in order to study and optimize the processes.

Examples of properties and granular materials which have been or are currently investigated at LTR are:
  • flow-behavior of lactose micropowder for the pharmaceutical industry
  • wettability and water-dissolution-rate of organic micropowders for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry
  • inactivation of microorganisms on wheat grains and sprout seeds for the food industry
  • electrochemical capacity of lithium-ion-battery graphite micropowders for the energy industry
  • optoelectronic performance of inorganic fluorescent micropowders for the electronic industry


tl_files/pse2016/Logos/logo-mdpi.png    MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland



MDPI publishes over 150 gold open access journals across all disciplines and is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. Its publishing activities are supported by more than 9,900 active scientists and academic editors that serve on the journal editorial boards. More than 187,000 individual authors have already published with MDPI. Articles published in MDPI are fully open access: they can be downloaded free of charge from the journal website. receives more than 4.2 million page views per month and over 90% of articles are available via web of science.
Thin Films and Coatings at Empa


The Thin Films and Coatings group performs application-oriented research on thin films using plasma-based techniques such as classical magnetron sputtering, HiPIMS and PACVD to deposit a variety of coatings like

  • nanostructured nitrides, carbides and oxynitrides
  • DLC-based coatings
  • metallization of polymers
  • electrochromic coatings
  • optical thin films

Thin film characterization facilities XPS, XRD, SEM and nanoindentation the standard characterization techniques, which along with many other methods, provide indispensable information on the coatings' performance. The experimental work is complemented by numerical simulations to enhance understanding the observed behavior of the synthesized films.

Research close to applications as well as materials science questions are tackled in close cooperation with industry companies and with academic partners.

If you are interested in our work then please contact us at

Research Group Plasma & Coating


The Plasma & Coating group of the Laboratory for Advanced Fibers investigates gas phase and surface processes relevant for plasma coating and etching processes. Thorough understanding of energetic processes during plasma processing enables us to tailor functionalized surfaces considering the flexibility and surface of substrates such as fibers, textiles, membranes etc.

Requirements for applications in aqueous environments are met by our high performing and permanent plasma coatings, also regarding the interaction of water with the surface and sub-surface (bioresponse, corrosion, wettability, adhesion, defined degradability etc.).

Our knowledge extends to the successful transfer of plasma processes (etching, cleaning, plasma polymerization, sputtering) to industry supported by pilot-plant reactors both for web and fiber coating including cost models.

Contact: Dr. Dirk Hegemann,



     Evatec AG



Based out of their headquarters one hour to the east of Zurich, Evatec delivers thin film deposition platforms and processes using evaporation and sputter across selected applications in Power Devices, Wireless Communication, MEMS, Advanced Packaging, Optoelectronics and High Precision Optics.  From the sputter processes developed for plasma damage free deposition of TCOs on GaN in HBLEDS manufacture to the ICP Arctic Etch technology developed for efficient removal of metal oxides from metal pads prior to contact deposition in Fan-out wafer level packaging (FOWLP) applications, Evatec delivers complete solutions for volume production. Sources and process control technologies are all designed for precision, repeatability and reliability and installed on a range of batch, inline or cluster platforms according to customer substrate size and throughput requirements.




     CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research)
     Technology Department, Geneva, Switzerland



Thin film coatings are developed and produced at CERN for different technological applications: from niobium for superconductive RF structures, to carbon for mitigation of electron multipacting, Non Evaporable Getters for vacuum and mitigation of electron multipacting and many others.

Along with standard planar magnetron coating systems, CERN develops customized coating systems, in order to cope with the geometry of the accelerators components and with the relatively large series often required.

Recent developments are focused in the deployment of in-situ coating in accelerators beam pipes, using 13 meter long hollow cathode sputtering targets for the Super Proton Synchrotron and miniature cylindrical magnetron sources for the Large Hadron Collider. Sputtering in small gap chambers, (down to 5 mm), and superconducting coatings in complex shape RF accelerating cavities for HIE-ISOLDE were also recently developed.


tl_files/pse2016/Logos/logo Comelec.jpg.gif 
     La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland


Based in Switzerland since 1979, Comelec SA is a European leader in the general business of packaging using Parylene. Parylene is a polymer conformal coating from a CVD-like vacuum process combining outstanding material properties (barrier properties, chemical stability, biocompatibility, insulating properties, etc…). Comelec offers deposition services in many applications fields where high performance encapsulation of 3D parts is required (PCB electronics, medical devices, sensors, magnets and ferrites, micromechanics…).

Comelec customers benefit from 35+ years of experience including surface engineering (cleaning, adhesion), masking/unmasking and process control for the main commercial Parylene grades.

Comelec also provides standard and customized deposition equipments successfully used in various cutting-edge industries and research centers (possibly clean rooms).

With a strong involvement in R&D projects, Comelec intends to be a key partner for process and product development. Main R&D activities involve plasma processing and chemical grafting leading to multifunctional Parylene based coatings thanks to innovative combination of molecules and materials (particles, thin films). Comelec works closely with research partners from Switzerland and Europe for different fields of application. For instance, the company is presently involved in a major European project called InForMed, focused on medical device manufacturing (

Contact: Hicham Damsir, Business Manager,



   Buchs, Switzerland


RhySearch, the Center of research and innovation in the Alpine Rhine Valley currently establishes the research focus on Optical Coatings. Thin films and coating processes are developed and analyzed using different methods such as Laser Induced Damage Threshold (LIDT) and Cavity Ring Down (CRD). The deposition of thin films will be performed by means of Dual Ion Beam Sputtering (DIBS, start in 2017). Our specific aim is the gain of knowledge on optical thin films and coating processes as well as coating systems in order to foster companies working in the field of optical coatings or optical applications (e.g. laser technology).

In general, RhySearch fosters applied research and innovation and acts as a technology cluster with industries as well as research and university institutions. Founded in 2013 RhySearch has launched first activities in its three research topics “optical coatings”, “precision manufacturing” and “packaging technology”. Furthermore, we are interested in exchanging experiences and enhancing our network with interested partners in research and innovation.



The Partner Country Concept is supported by:






[1] Gerhard Schwarz: Industriemacht Schweiz. Der Mythos der De-Industrialisierung. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 28. Juli 2012, S. 35
[3] Die Schweiz in Zahlen. UBS Group AG, abgerufen am 18. April 2015.