F. Bunshah Award and Honorary ICMCTF lectureship is intended to recognize outstanding research or technological innovation in the areas of interest to the Advanced Surface Engineering Division (ASED) of the AVS, with emphasis in the fields of surface engineering, thin films, and related topics.
2020 R.F. Bunshah Award Recipient – Christian Mitterer, Department of Materials Science, Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria
Christian Mitterer is Professor of Functional Materials and Materials Systems, head of the Department of Materials Science and the Nano Surface Engineering Center at Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria. He received his Diploma and Ph.D. in Materials Science from Montanuniversität Leoben in 1987 and 1994, respectively. His research focuses on design and synthesis of advanced multifunctional coatings and thin films, on the characterization of their microstructure, properties and performance, with particular interest on nitrides, borides, carbides, oxides, metals, and alloys. He has pioneered self-adaptation mechanism like age-hardening and self-lubrication as well as design rules for hard and tough nanocomposite coatings and for flexible thin films for wearable electronics. He has published more than 400 papers, about 320 of them in reviewed journals, edited nine proceedings and special issues, and holds 5 patents. He is an Editorial Board Member for the journals Surface and Coatings Technology, Coatings and Nanomaterials, and has served as Guest Editor for Surface and Coatings Technology, Thin Solid Films, Vacuum, Advanced Engineering Materials, and International Journal of Materials Research. In 2013, he has been Chair of the AVS Advanced Surface Engineering Division. He served as Secretary and Vice-Chair for the Surface Engineering Division of the International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications (IUVSTA) between 2005 and 2013. At ICMCTF, he served as Session and Symposium Chair, four times as Proceedings Editor, twice as Program and General Chair, and as Sponsorship Chair. He organized the International Symposium on Reactive Sputter Deposition (2007) and the IUVSTA Workshops on Plasma-assisted Vapor Deposition of Oxide Thin Films and Coatings (2014) and on Nanoporous Materials on Green Energy Conversion and Storage (2018). He won the 2001 Erich Schmid Award of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the 2005 Research Award for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. He is also Honorary Viking of Tribology of the Angström Laboratory, Uppsala, Sweden. In 2012, he has been elected as a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society and in 2016 as a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
“A Journey from Trial & Error to the Knowledge-based Design of Coatings and Thin Films”
Department of Materials Science, Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria
Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – 6:00 pm – Town & Country
In the 1980-ies, when I have grown my first transition metal boride based hard coatings by sputter deposition, process and materials development were essentially based on trial & error. Nevertheless, that time already led to innovations which established the basis for the present state-of-the-art in hard coating materials, for example TiN, TiCxN1-x, Ti1-xAlxN, Al2O3 and even the first nanocomposite coatings based on the TiB2-TiN system. Progress in process technology and characterization methods enabled to add more and more functionalities to the films. Prominent examples are age-hardening of metastable Ti1-xAlxN coatings and self-lubrication by the in-operando formation of lubricious Magnéli phase oxides. Starting in the early 2000s, the utilization of quantum mechanics methods provided a deeper understanding of phase stability and properties. Modern high-resolution characterization methods like X-ray synchrotron nanodiffraction and atom probe tomography came up in the last decade, enabling a previously impossible insight into depth-resolved composition and microstructure on the nanoscale. In parallel, micromechanical test methods have been introduced to assess coating properties like fracture strength and fracture toughness. Nowadays, the available modern process technology coating deposition in combination with quantum mechanical and advanced characterization methods provide the key for the knowledge-based design of coatings and thin films.
Within this talk, a personal retrospective on a 35 years long journey will be given, highlighting and exemplifying the change in our approaches for the development of advanced coatings and thin films. Special emphasis will be laid on hard coating materials like transition metal diborides, Ti1-xAlxN and Al2O3 as well flexible Mo-based thin films, where ultimately these combined experimental and theoretical methods led to breakthroughs in our understanding of materials behavior and their application.