The Institut für Oberflächen- und Schichtanalytik IFOS GmbH was founded as a non-profit research institution of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in December 1989. Since 1996 it has had the status of a scientific institution of the Technical University of Kaiserslautern.
The core competencies of the institute with its more than 20 employees lie in research and development in the field of instrumental surface and layer analysis, as well as in surface-sensitive analysis methods for practical use.
We consider ourselves a link between university research and market-oriented business. On the one hand, the institute pursues the research interests of businesses with regard to current and future products and production methods through their non-profit activities, on the other hand they transfer scientific research results from universities and other research institutions to applied research organziations and businesses. In the area of contract research, IFOS carries out research work with the private sector and, often with cooperation partners from the university sector, within the framework of publicly funded research projects.
The main focus of the institute's work is the determining the composition, the chemical bonding properties and the structure of solid surfaces and thin-film systems. IFOS offers users from industry, universities and other research institutions direct access to sophisticated, usually very complex and expensive analysis techniques and thus sustainably supports the transfer of these methods into technological and industrial practice.
For this purpose, almost the entire spectrum of the methods available today for high-resolution chemical and structural analysis of surfaces and thin layers is used at IFOS: Electron spectroscopic and mass spectrometric methods (AES, XPS or SIMS, SNMS and 3D atom probe tomography) enable the characterization of the chemical composition of surfaces and thin-film structures with high vertical and lateral resolution down to the nanometer range. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) allow fine-range analyzes down to atomic dimensions. Furthermore, modern systems for X-ray structure measurements (XRD), for scanning electron microscopy (REM) and for focused ion beam analysis (FIB) are available.