MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung | Stuttgart  

Department Arzt – Research Areas

Nanomechanics of Metals | Thin Film Synthesis | Chemistry
and Patterning of Functional Surfaces
| Evolutionary Biomaterials | Micromechanics of Biological Materials | Adaptive Fiber Structures |
Industrial Materials | Study Program Materials Science

Chemistry and Patterning of Functional Surfaces

The interaction between two bodies in close proximity is strongly influenced by the chemical nature of their outmost molecular layer and the surface topography. The adhesion force between two glued surfaces, the antiadherent properties of our cooking pan, the attachment of proteins or cells onto artificial scaffolds or the ability of certain animals to firmly attach to and easy release from any surface are relevant examples. Chemists and material scientists join their efforts in the development of novel approaches to control adhesion phenomena at different levels and to elucidate their implications in modern technologies.

Methods and Devices

  • Preparative organic chemistry
  • Surface chemistry methods: Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), plasma activation
  • Protocols for immobilisation of biomolecules onto surfaces
  • Surface micro and nanopatterning methods: optical lithography, soft-lithography, hot embossing
  • Surface characterisation techniques: SEM, ellipsometry, interferometry
  • Characterisation of adhesion forces by peel-off tests

Recent highlights

  • Complex surface compositions for controlled and functional immobilisation of biomolecules
  • Hierarchical and 3D micro and nanopatterning methods for fabrication of bioinspired adhesives: first experimental evidence for the "contact splitting effect" in the micron scale


Prof. Kimberly Turner, Michael Northen; University California, Santa Barbara
Prof. U. Gösele, Dr. Martin Steinhardt; MPI for Microstructure Physics, Halle

Contact ⁄ Open Positions

Dr. Aránzazu del Campo


Hierarchical micropatterned surface

Theoretical concepts developed to predict optimum adhesion strength of patterned surfaces

Photoactivable surface