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Welcome to the MSU-Fraunhofer Center for Coatings and Diamond Technologies CCD

CCD Value Proposition

The United States and Germany are ranked among the most innovative economies in the Global Competitiveness Index of 2014-15. At the MSU-Fraunhofer Center for Coatings and Diamond Technologies CCD, we believe that this success is driven by the continually successful transformation of fundamental research into viable customer solutions through applied research and development programs. Fraunhofer USA CCD is operated jointly by Michigan State University (MSU) and Fraunhofer USA Inc. in close collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Materials and Beam Technology (IWS) in Dresden, Germany.

CCD offers applied research and development services to a broad range of customers from industry and government. Interdisciplinary project teams of engineers, scientists, faculty and students at CCD apply science to serve client-driven technology needs in the areas of diamond and coating technologies. CCD’s value proposition is to provide access to comprehensive technical core competences (process, materials, systems), ongoing scientific innovation, high quality project management and a broad range of personnel, laboratory and partnership resources (see figure). Key resources include a highly educated and experienced workforce, laboratory and equipment resources and a strong partnership network.

Mission & Vision

CCD’s mission is to lead a successful transatlantic collaboration in applied research and development, knowledge transfer and education to the mutual benefit of the center, its partners, its customers and society in general. CCD’s vision is to become an international leader and Center of Excellence in diamond electronics and advanced applications development and to be the leading US R&D partner for industrial thin film coating technologies.

Business Fields

CCD’s business fields are Coating Technologies and Diamond TechnologiesCoating Technologies involve the deposition of thin film materials onto metal parts and components, glass plates, plastic web and other substrates using vapor deposition techniques. Coatings provide improved surface properties such as increased wear and corrosion resistance, improved optical appearance, and tailored electrical, optical, thermal and biological properties and functionalities. Applications range across many industries. Diamond Technologies is an emerging business field. Diamond is one of the most exciting materials on earth since it combines a set of extreme electrical, mechanical, thermal, electrochemical and optical properties, which are useful for a wide range of technical applications. CCD is at the forefront of developing highly efficient synthesis methods for diamond, which rapidly advance this business field.


CCD remains competitive by continually advancing its core competences, which are Plasma and Microfabrication Processes, Plasma Systems and Coating Materials. Plasma and Microfabrication Processes include chemical and physical vapor deposition processes that involve plasma sources to achieve optimal coating properties. Special capabilities are the high rate deposition of single crystal diamond and the low temperature deposition of superhard amorphous carbon films. Additional capabilities at the center include wet and plasma chemical etching, laser micro machining, lithographic masking and diamond polishing. Microfabrication process flows are developed to integrate thin film coatings and diamond materials into customer specified devices. Plasma Systems competences include plasma deposition technologies such as cathodic vacuum arc plasma sources, pulsed laser deposition, magnetron sputter deposition, gas plasma source deposition, microwave plasma assisted deposition, and plasma assisted etching. Capabilities include the development of new plasma sources and vapor deposition processes including designing and building new system components for microwave plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition reactors and the development of systems software to safely operate such machines. Coating Materials range from nanometer thin film coatings to several millimeter-thick diamond slabs. CCD focuses on diamond-like carbon and diamond coatings. Additional thin film coating material competences include metal, metal-nitride, -oxide and -boride and semiconductor coatings. Expertise exists in creating wear and corrosion resistant coatings, hydrophilic and hydrophobic coatings, antireflective coatings, low emissivity coatings and soft magnetic coatings. Diamond competence includes intrinsic and doped (n- and p-type) nano-, poly- and single crystalline materials and their applications for electronic, optical, thermal, electrochemical and mechanical applications. Additional capabilities are in materials analysis. Analytical techniques routinely used at the center include microscopy (optical and electron), tribo-mechanical testing, Raman spectroscopy, FTIR and UV/Vis spectroscopy, surface acoustic wave spectroscopy, electrochemical analytics, four-point probe electrical testing, atomic force microscopy and profilometry, photoluminescence analytics, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Auger electron spectroscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry.

Facts & Figures

CCD’s business model relies on a good balance of publicly and privately funded research and development projects. The center performs over 60 projects per year with total research expenditures exceeding $2.5 million for 2015. CCD is located on the MSU campus and includes 30 individuals consisting of faculty, graduate students, Fraunhofer USA engineers and staff, and student interns.

CCD is expanding its research and development activities in the areas of diamond and ultra-wide bandgap electronics, devices, and sensors and in the area of hard functional coatings. The current MSU-Fraunhofer laboratories in MSU’s Engineering Research Complex (ERC) will receive an additional 15,000 square feet of space and new diamond synthesis equipment to accommodate an increase in personnel and research projects at the center. When completed, the new center is expected to generate $7 million in research revenues annually. Current CCD activities include diamond synthesis, diamond synthesis machine design, diamond electronics, diamond device and sensor microfabrication, diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings and their applications and other hard, functional coatings.

About Fraunhofer

With 24,000 employees and an annual research budget exceeding 2 billion euros, the German Fraunhofer Society is Europe’s largest applied research organization performing projects of direct utility to private and public enterprise and of a wide benefit to society. Fraunhofer’s 66 institutes and research units contribute to shaping Germany’s innovation process and drive forward the development of key technologies in the areas of healthcare, security, communication, mobility, energy and the environment. The Fraunhofer Society establishes collaborations with international partner institutions of scientific excellence and innovative strengths. These act as a bridge to the regions of greatest importance to scientific progress and economic development.

Fraunhofer USA Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is an affiliate of German Fraunhofer Society. The company employs 230 people and has annual research expenditures exceeding $42 million. Fraunhofer USA has seven research centers, two representative offices and a headquarters. Some centers collaborate with US universities. Each center is closely affiliated with a Fraunhofer Institute in Germany.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Materials and Beam Technology (Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS) is located in Dresden, Germany. The institute performs applied research and development in the field of laser and surface technologies. Services range from basic materials research to developing systems. The institute has a staff of 200 fulltime and 50 external employees. Total research expenditures for 2014 were 27 million Euros. IWS closely cooperates with the Technical University Dresden. IWS’ US activities are concentrated at two Fraunhofer USA Centers: the "Center for Coatings and Diamond Technologies" (CCD) in East Lansing and the "Center for Laser Applications" (CLA) in Plymouth, Michigan. 

About Michigan State University

Michigan State University, a member of the Association of American Universities and one of the top 100 research universities in the world, was founded in 1855. MSU is an inclusive, academic community known for traditionally strong academic disciplines and professional programs, and its liberal arts foundation. The cross- and interdisciplinary enterprises connect the sciences, humanities, and professions in practical, sustainable, and innovative ways to address society's rapidly changing needs. As a public, research-intensive, land-grant university funded in part by the state of Michigan, its mission is to advance knowledge and transform lives.