Nature Knows Best.
SurFunction GmbH uses a new laser structuring technology, called xDLIP (“Extended Direct Laser Interference Patterning”), for the surface functionalization of customer products on large-scale industrial applications.
With the xDLIP-Technology, you create functional surfaces from living nature onto your products – across scales (sub-µm to µm), highly precise, automated and in record speed (m²/min).
With SurFunction GmbH, you start into the next generation of your products with enormous quality improvements in the megatrends energy and resources, mobility and health.
Your receive everything from one supplier, from the xDLIP-Feasibility, over the xDLIP-Pre-Series up to xDLIP-Series. This way, you will prepare your success in the future with only one partner, SurFunction.
SurFunction GmbH in numbers
Years of experience
The Co-founders of SurFunction
The technical principles of the company were already set almost 20 years ago by the co-founders of SurFunction GmbH in Saarbrücken, the headquarter of SurFunction.
Prof. Dr. Frank Mücklich
Co-founder of SurFunction and head of the Chair for Functional Materials at Saarland University.
He recognized the potential of a simple physical effect to create microscopically small surface structures based on the interaction of electromagnetic waves (interference): Direct Laser Interference Patterning “DLIP” was born.
Prof. Dr. Andrés Lasagni
Co-founder of SurFunction and holder of the professorship for laser-based methods of large-area surface structuring at the TU Dresden.
In the following years he developed a compact optical system for the fast and economic use of the DLIP effect on almost any surface.
In the last 20 years, the two professors were able to publish more than 200 scientific articles on DLIP with their research teams and the other co-founders of SurFunction. This experience and the know-how built up over the years are part of SurFunction GmbH, founded in 2020.
Awards & Distinctions
In addition to the awards from 2011 (German High Tech Champion Prize) and 2015 (Green Photonics Award), the team won the renowned Berthold-Leibinger Innovation Award 2016 for the DLIP technology and the Löhn-Award 2019 for the best technological transfer performance of 2019 with TE Connectivity (one of the world leaders in the field of electrical connectors).
Löhn Award 2019 – SurFunction Team with the company TE Connectivity
SurFunction GmbH is represented by the co-founder and CEO Dr. Dominik Britz
Dominik Britz, Dr.-Ing.
Co-founder of SurFunction and CEO
In 2013, Dr. Dominik Britz took over the operational management of MECS. With him as leader, the successful transfer of DLIP technology could finally be achieved from laboratory experiments to industrial applications.
Co-CEO of SurFunction
Ralf Zastrau is responsible for strategy, corporate development and corporate communications. He has been with the company as Managing Director since 2021 and is driving the change from a scientific start-up to a market-oriented technology company. Ralf Zastrau has many years of experience in industry, both in medium-sized businesses and in international group companies.
The primary task of the advisory board is to actively accompany the business development of SurFunction GmbH. Furthermore, the board has the task to advise and support the management of SurFunction in essential decision-making issues.
Prof. Dr. Frank Mücklich
Chairman of the advisory board
Head of the Chair of Functional Materials at Saarland University and co-founder of SurFunction
Dr. Andreas Leffer
Member of the advisory board
General Manager Stahl- und Apparatebau Hans Leffer GmbH & Co. KG
The history of DLIP technology
Read more about the history of Direct Laser Interference Patterning (DLIP)
Early 90s | The inspiration
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Mücklich was inspired by Prof. Stutzmann at the Technical University of Munich to use the principle of local crystallization of amorphous layers by laser interference in the field of structural metallurgy.
1997 | The scientific start
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Mücklich is the first materials researcher to win the Alfried Krupp Prize for his research.
1997+ | Construction of the first DLIP nanosecond laser
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Mücklich buys a nanosecond laser for his Chair of Functional Materials at Saarland University. During experiments, it was noticed that in addition to the structural metallurgy, i.e. the structural change inside, the micro-topography of the surface (the nature of the surface) could also be precisely and periodically controlled in a single step as a function of the number of coherent laser beams and their angles to one another . Direct Laser Interference Patterning was born.
2006 | Crucial DLIP PhD
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lasagni receives his doctorate with honors for his thesis on laser interferencestructuring metallurgy in the micro/nano range (“Advanced design of periodical structures by laser interference metallurgy in the micro/nano scale on macroscopic areas”).
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lasagni received the renowned Masing Memorial Prize from the DGM.
For the particularly successful publications, the jury of the International Journal of Materials Research – IJMR awards Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Mücklich and his team the DGM Werner Koester Prize.
2008 | Development of compact DLIP optics
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lasangi returns to Germany with a Fraunhofer Attract grant after his postdoctoral period as a Humboldt fellow in the USA. He sets up a research team on the subject of “Surface Functionilization” at the Fraunhofer IWS in Dresden.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lasagni develops the compact optics for today’s DLIP technology, which are crucial for robust applications.
At the same time, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Mücklich and his team in Saarbrücken are constantly exploring new fields of application and open the Material Engineering Center Saarland (MECS) for direct industrial cooperation and science transfer.
2016 | Laser innovation prize DLIP
Berthold Leibinger Innovation Award – SurFunction co-founder Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Mücklich and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lasagni are awarded the Berthold Leibinger Innovation Prize for the development of Direct Laser Interference Structuring (DLIP).
2020 | First DLIP commercialization
SurFunction is founded and offers tailor-made solutions in the fields of electrical systems, friction and wear, absorption, optical effects, hygiene and medicine, and wetting.
2022 | Extension to xDLIP
The DLIP technology is supplemented by complementary processes, such as wet-chemical or galvanic processes – thus creating the xDLIP technology (extended DLIP).
Partners and Network of SurFunction
SurFunction GmbH is a spin-off from the Steinbeis association, one of the internationally most successful service providers in knowledge and technology transfer with more than 1,100 transfer institutes/research centers and companies worldwide.
One of these institutes, the Steinbeis Research Center “Material Engineering Center Saarland (MECS)”, based in Saarbrücken, was already founded ten years ago by Prof. Dr. Frank Mücklich. Thus, it became possible to develop the DLIP technology further, especially through industrial projects with direct application relevance.
Between MECS and SurFunction exists a trustful cooperation for the development of further application areas in the field of functional materials and surfaces.
The locations in Saarbrücken and Dresden provide companies with complete xDLIP systems and highly functional xDLIP surfaces.
In addition to the location of the central organization, the focus at the headquarters in Saarbrücken is on product development and material analysis as well as further development in the Extended DLIP (xDLIP) area with complementary surface technologies. In addition, the functionalization of small to medium-sized 2D components takes place there.
SurFunction TEC is the competence center for the development and production of the next generation of xDLIP optics (Gen II) in Dresden. The focus here is on process development and the functionalization of medium to large components up to 2.5D. In addition, SurFunction Tec has expertise in the indirect functionalization of thin plastics, for example with so-called “sleeves” using embossing processes.
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Big changes start on a small scale
Contact now the expert team of SurFunction GmbH. We will be glad to guide you to the next generation of your products with DLIP!