Quoting Nobel Laureate Wolfgang Pauli: “God made the bulk; surfaces were invented by the devil”. Surfaces and interfaces are indeed prone to unpredictable physical and chemical modifications due to interactions with uncontrolled atmospheres, surface re-organization, and contamination. High-impact research dealing with interfaces can therefore only be achieved if surfaces can be prepared, treated, and analyzed for both surface chemistry, physical characteristics, and topography aspects at the same place. ​

COMPLEXURF is a laboratory dedicated to the study of complex surfaces and interfaces, supported by a group of scientists and engineers, and students offering complementary key expertise that will contribute to acquire novel and holistic views to unravel highly complex physico-chemical interfacial phenomena. ​

We then use key tools to prepare, treat and characterize surfaces of materials with various complex shapes (flat monoliths, fibers, particles) at a relatively large scale (typically 10x10cm²) over a large panel of environmental conditions in terms of temperature (-20°C<T<1650°C), relative humidity, and gas atmosphere (from air to PO2 control).​

COMPLEXURF also aims at forming the missing link between fundamental studies and more applied research for which scale effects, repeatability, speed of measurements and versatility without compromising accuracy.​

The experimental approaches is complemented by nanoscale simulations which contributes to improve our understanding of the atomistic mechanisms controlling interfacial properties. ​

Combining experimental, modelling, and theoretical approaches, we shed light on the intertwined mechanisms controlling  interactions between surfaces with the overarching goal to better design materials with enhanced and novel functionalities and, to rapidly produce high quality parts and devices from these materials at optimum costs.​

KU Leuven
Department of Materials Engineering (MTM)
Kasteelpark Arenberg 44, box 2450