Material Analysis and Electron Microscopy

Our surface and materials technology unit covers all technologies relating to the production and structuring of layers, microsystems and nanosystems. It also specializes in the analysis of materials and their surfaces. Its products and services are used in a wide  range of sectors, including biotechnology, medical technology, chemistry, the environment, and automotive and mechanical  engineering.

Microsystem- and nanotechnology for life science

We focus on components and systems for manipulating and analyzing molecules, particles, cells and tissues.
We use broad-ranging expertise and state-of-the-art equipment for the simulation, development, and small series production of biocompatible microsensor and microfluidic systems.

Functional surfaces and layer systems

Suitable coatings can be used to adapt the properties of material surfaces to a particular application environment. For example, plasma coatings can be used to set the adhesive, antifrictional and wetting properties, the corrosion and wear resistance, and the biocompatibility of material surfaces for a wide range of products.

Interface, microstructure and nanoparticle analysis

The precise analysis and depiction of processes and effects on material surfaces plays a key role in optimizing the passivation of medical instruments or components used in mechanical/automotive engineering.
The preparation and analysis of nanoparticles, samples containing water, moist coatings, solid-fluid interfaces and a number of biological/technical interfaces with high spatial resolution calls for specialist know-how.

Bonding systems

Bonding is a joining technique that uses adhesive force. It offers a variety of benefits over conventional methods such as welding, screwing, or riveting. Among other things, it enables innovative structures, such as the bonding of different materials. The NMI boasts a wide range of bonding technologies, inspection techniques, and analyses that are complemented by the expertise of a cooperation network made up of institutes and specialist companies.


The NMI uses its interface- and microstructure-based analyses to address the tribology-related problems of friction and wear. The findings help our customers improve the running properties and service life of machine components.