This field covers the development of materials and technologies that give to metallic products improved surface performances or new functionalities, thereby opening the way to an extended range of applications.
The galvanisation operation which consists in applying a protective zinc coating to a steel or iron product is the standard coating operation of the steel industry. It allows increasing the resistance against corrosion (and thus the service time of products) well above 10 years, even in demanding applications such as car bodies.
Beyond protection against corrosion, the functionalisation of metallic surfaces allows developing specific properties such as resistance against scratches, self-lubrication, self-cleaning, anti-microbial, anti-icing, etc. In addition, the research on advanced nanocoatings and energy applications, initially devoted to controlling interactions between metallic materials and light, promotes a variety of advanced surface applications, including photovoltaic, fuel cells and solid state lighting (LEDs). These developments obviously require teams with a high level of complementary skills and competencies, in fields such as metallic substrates, coatings, processes and technologies for surface treatments, surface properties and surface characterisation, optics, solid state physics, electronics, etc.