Our motivation is to develop new properties and solve puzzles,” says Dr. Eveline Rudigier-Voigt. This is not so much about conventional puzzles as it is about scientific and technical issues: how can glass that is exposed to stresses such as corrosion, wear and tear, and many other effects be improved by altering its surfaces? How can glass surfaces, in particular, be manipulated in such a way, for example, that light reflects differently or not at all? What processes can be used for this and how can stable and economical processes be achieved in addition to new properties? This is precisely what interests the team in the Coating and Surface Modification competence area.
In order to solve such challenges and to modify surfaces to precisely meet customer requirements, the experts at SCHOTT Research have a toolbox at their disposal for implementing various property profiles. “Our ‘superficial’ approach requires a deep and detailed understanding of the materials of glass and glass-ceramics,” explains Dr. Rudigier-Voigt who has been at SCHOTT for 12 years. After all, layers must not only adhere to glass optimally but also be able to survive temperature cycles or sterilization processes, for example, without damage depending on the subsequent application. Besides the traditional coatings, surfaces can also be modified in a targeted manner by doping, activating or leaching, for example. These types of functionalizations often need to fulfill not only one property or requirement, but must also combine several of them.