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2D materials and surfaces: synthesis, characterization and perspectives


Nano-engineered coatings and thin films: from fundamentals to applications

This symposium intends to be a major forum for discussion within the thin film community, focusing on nanostructure-designed films, fundamentals and applications. Emphasis will be given to the development of new surfaces for tribological, optical, biological, energy and sustainable applications.


Nanostructured thin films are of significant importance for the design of advanced devices in numerous technological fields. The range of applications is very wide, including the development of sensing and bio-related products, electronic, photonic and solar cell components, energy harvesting and storage devices, wetting and microfluidics constituents. The increased awareness about the need for sustainable growth, including efficient energy use and storage, together with the monitoring of fundamental production and health-related parameters, makes the design and development of new thin film systems a hot topic. In the field of energy, electronics or optics, the production of thin films at low-deposition temperatures, with low resistive and high transmittance in the visible range is increasing. The preparation of highly structured thin films in complex geometries, with unique microstructures and compositions, brings the opportunity to replace expensive components with high-efficiency materials, with tailored characteristics and properties able to fit the specific requirements of any particular application.

Symposium I will cover all kinds of thin film structures, ranging from well-organised crystals, to atomic-scale disordered architectures such as thin films metallic glasses or high-entropy alloys. Moreover, due to the complex nature of the thin film growth and nanostructuring, fundamental studies represent an essential step to relate the processing parameters with the governing atomistic mechanisms, the film nanostructure and its functional properties.

In generic terms, this symposium will be dedicated to advanced methods of surface processing vapour deposition and surface nano-engineering, their fundamentals as well as to nanoscale methods of materials characterization.Areas of particular interest will include, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Fundamentals and modelling of vapour-based deposition processes (PVD, CVD/ALD, hybrid processes) including fundamentals of low temperature/non-equilibrium plasmas;
  • New deposition processes, including HIPIMS technology, liquid-based deposition, thermochemical heat treatments like plasma nitriding + PVD, PACVD deposition, or the use of hybrid methods combining for instance arc evaporation and magnetron sputtering or PVD and CVD, atmospheric plasma, and related approaches;
  • Nanostructured coatings or nano-engineered thin film architectures, including nanocomposites, multilayers, metallic glasses, nanolayers and glancing/oblique angle deposition;
  • Correlation between micro- and nanostructure and functional properties such as optical, electrical, mechanical, tribological, thermoelectrical, thermochromic, magnetic, etc.;
  • Hard, wear and corrosion/oxidation resistant coatings;
  • Characterization methods to determine the properties of thin films and coatings, in-situ and ex-situ, at laboratory scale and in-service conditions;
  • Techniques for surface modification and functionalization, includingplasma-based  surface treatments and nanoscale texturing;
  • High-end spatially resolved characterization microscopic and spectroscopic techniques, e.g., TEM, scanning-probe microscopies, and x-ray-based techniques (GISAXS, XPS), including in situ/operand and systematic studies to uncover structure-property relations under operating conditions.;
  • Microstructural multiscale: advanced modes of characterization (EELS, tomography, etc.);
  • Thin films for smart application: sensing; catalysis; biocompatibility; energy; etc.;
  • New trends in thin film materials: metallic glasses; high entropy alloys, oxynitrides, intermetallics, plasmonics, photonics, microelectronics, etc.

We call for communications giving the latest information on research and development in topics corresponding to one or more of the above-mentioned areas.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  • Fundamentals and modelling of thin film growth: diagnostics, analysis; in-situ growth;
  • Thin film growth dynamics and atomic-scale processes;
  • Surface modification/functionalization;
  • High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering processes;
  • Atmospheric processes - organic synthesis and surface functionalization;
  • Characterization methods at the nanoscale of nano-engineered thin films;
  • Corrosion and oxidation-resistant coatings;
  • Low-friction, self-healing, self-lubricant and wear-resistant coatings;
  • Design of novel thin films for energy conversion, saving and conversion;
  • Thin films for sensing;
  • Coatings with surface Plasmon resonance behavior;
  • Coatings for bio-applications;
  • Advanced laser-based nano-texturing;
  • New energetic plasma processes and related advanced hard coatings;
  • Advanced surfaces for contributing to sustainability;
  • Thin film metallic glasses and high entropy alloy films.

Special issue:

All contributors to the symposium I are strongly encouraged to submit a paper in the dedicated peer-reviewed special issue of Surface and Coatings Technology from Elsevier (IF: 5.4), associated with the symposium.

Invited speakers (confirmed):

  • J-F. Pierson (FRA), Efficient thermochromic thin films obtained by controlled oxidation of vanadium nitrides
  • J. Eckert (AUT), From Bulk to Thin Film Metallic Glasses: Alloy Design, Property Optimization and Surface Functionalization
  • M. Coll (ESP), Chemical synthesis of multicomponent oxide thin films and membranes
  • D. Hegemann (CHE), Porous SiOx plasma polymer films as versatile platform for biologic multifunctional surfaces
  • L. Muccioli (ITA), Atomistic simulations of molecular vacuum deposition: how far are we from reality?
  • M. Dinescu (ROU), Recent advances in laser deposition of thin films
  • M. Bruzzi (ITA), Thin films for biomedical applications
  • P. Fielder (GER), Novel materials for dry electrophysiology sensors
  • R. Snyders (BEL), (Title to be defined later)

Scientific Committee (confirmed):

T. Belmonte (FRA); P. Choquet (LUX); P. Zeman (CZE); P.H. Mayrhofer (AUS); N. Martin (FRA); A. Djouadi (FRA); M. Fenker (DEU); J.C. Sanchez-Lopez (ESP); L. Zajickova (CZE); J-F. Pierson (FRA); M. Cordill (AUS); C. Nouveau (FRA); K. Sarakinos (SWE); M. Cekada (SVN); A. Cavaleiro (PRT); J-H. Huang (TWN); C. Mitterer (AUT); S. Kassavetis (GRE); C. Lopes (PRT); Th. Kubart (SWE); J. Schmitz (NLD); B. Podgornik (SVN); R. Cremer (DEU); S. Aouadi (USA) ...



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Symposium organizers
Alberto PALMEROInstitute of Materials Science of Seville. Spanish Council of Research (CSIC)

Americo Vespucio Avenue, 49 - Seville 41092 Spain
Daniel MUNTEANUDepartment of Material Science, Transilvania University

29 Eroilor blvd., 500036 Brasov, Romania
José Filipe VAZUniversity of Minho, Physics Department

Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Philippe STEYER (Main organizer)INSA de Lyon – MATEIS Laboratory

7 av. Jean Capelle - Bât. B. Pascal - 69621 Villeurbanne Cedex - France