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Coating and Sensors

From Advanced Materials to Industrial Applications

As the only ion beam research facility New Zealand, we use a range of ion implantation, deposition and chemical treatment techniques, and offer services to our industrial partners to enhance manufacturing processes, enhance equipment durability and reduce industrial waste and increase energy saving.

Key Capabilities

What We Can Do For You

Our Research Activities

Research Areas

Key capabilities

Functional Surface and Coating

  • Oxides, nitrides, carbides
  • Diamond-like coating
  • Deposition, implantation


  • Nanostructure synthesis
  • Characterisation
  • Properties
  • Applications

Fabrication Systems

  • 5-40 keV Ion-Implanter
  • High Energy (<100 keV) Ion-Implanter
  • Ion-Implanter with in situ electron beam annealing and ion beam analysis
  • Ion-beam Sputtering System
  • High vacuum Electron Beam Annealer
  • Arc-discharge Chamber
  • Direct Ion beam deposition chamber
  • Pipeline Coating System
  • Multi-metal Evaporator system
  • Sputter coater
  • Spin coater
  • Chemistry facilities

Analysis and Characterisation

  • Ion-Beam Analysis:Rutherford Backscattering (RBS)
  • Particle induced gamma and X-ray emission (PIGE, PIXE)
  • Elastic recoil detection (ERD)
  • Nuclear reaction analysis (NRA)
  • Microprobe facilities
  • Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) :Topography: contact and tapping modes
  • Kelvin probe microscopy
  • Piezoresponse
  • Magnetic force microscopy
  • High vacuum field Emission
  • Hall Effect measurement
  • Four/Two probe electrical measurement
  • Push/pull force gauge for pin on disk wear testing and adhesion strength measurements

What we can do for you

  • Technology survey and assessment
  • Generating IP for new processes, new functional surfaces and fit-to-purpose technologies
  • Test batches

Our research activities

  • Developing new materials, surface treatments and sensors
  • Integrating existing technologies into sensor system and processes targeted to industrial needs
  • Design, prototype and produce specialised equipment
  • Improving industrial processes and increase export value
  • Improve energy efficiency

Research areas - functional surface modification and coating

Anti-fouling surface

  • Investigating different physical and chemical treatment methods to control topography and wetting properties to improve surface anti-fouling properties.
  • Current applications include food processing and air conditioning systems
  • Project leader: John V Kennedy, +64 04 570 4771

Surface hardness

  • We are investigating various coatings investigated: diamond-like carbon, titanium nitride, carbides, and boron nitrides. We use in-house wear and adhesion test bench for characterisation of materials properties.
  • Coated surface is harder than tool steel.
  • Current applications include food processing and air conditioning systems
  • Project leader: John V Kennedy, +64 04 570 4771

 Bio-compatible coating for medical implant

  •  silver coated titanium medical implant with anti-microbial properties
  • Using in-house built ion beam sputtering system
  • The higher energy deposition forms a mixed layer at the interface which can result in superior bonding.
  • Project leader: John V Kennedy, +64 04 570 4771

Diamond like carbon (DLC)

  •  Room temperature DLC by low energy ion implantation
  • Ultra smooth DLC at low temperature by direct ion beam deposition

Gas sensors

  •  Metal-oxide nanostructures, patented synthesis process
  • Doping for tuned properties
  • Project leader: John V Kennedy, +64 04 570 4771


  •  Magnetorestive nanomaterials
  • Fluxgate magnetometer
  • Novel application for magnetometers
  • Project leader: Jerome Leveneur, +64 04 570 4124

 Current sensors for power management

  •  Wide dynamic range sensor
  • Low hysteresis high sensitivity
  • Non-contact current measurements
  • Project leader: Jerome Leveneur, +64 04 570 4124