In 2018, the research budget accounted for 2.46 million euros. At the end of that year, staff of 62 scientific, technical and administrative employees, among them 20 doctoral students, worked at the three IGVP facilities – along with 43 other students researching for their master or bachelor thesis.
The institute is organized in the two departments “Interfacial Process Engineering” and “Plasma and Microwave Technology”, with research carried out by six working groups.
Close cooperation with the Fraunhofer IGB makes it possible to pursue projects from basic research to application. This approach is reflected in the variety of funding sources received by the IGVP, including the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Federal Foundation for the Environment (DBU), the German Research Foundation (DFG), the EU, the Land of Baden-Württemberg, various foundations and industry. Key partners include the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik in Garching, the KIT and DIFFER in the Netherlands.
The IGVP focuses on the design, functionalization and characterization of surfaces and materials of inorganic or organic origin as well as of bio-, nano- and hybrid materials and their interaction. Likewise, interactions with biological interfaces as occurring in infection of human cells with viruses, bacteria and fungi, are being studied. Further activities include the simulation and engineering of interfacially driven processes, e.g. in membrane technology and biotechnology.
On the second part, scientific contributions cover the wide range from fusion oriented high-temperature plasma physics to industrial applications of low-temperature plasmas. A focal point is research on these plasmas for surface activation and deposition of new coatings as well as the development of new plasma sources and processes, as fostered by the synergy between microwave and plasma physics know-how. Research in fusion related plasma physics reaches from fundamental investigations of plasma dynamical processes and simulation of electromagnetic waves to plasma heating with high-power microwaves and development of corresponding transmission systems.
Teaching activities are centered on the subject areas of interfacial process engineering, infection biology, nanotechnology, industrial biotechnology, biomaterials, resource-efficient processes as well as plasma physics and plasma technology.