This week, The Science and Engineering Cafe takes us back to Europe to honor Dr. Dirk Hegemann from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa). Dirk is a world-renowned expert in the field of plasma polymers but aside from his deep involvement in high level research, he also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Plasma Chemistry Society (IPCS).
I would like to thank Dr. Hegemann for agreeing to provide an interview to sciengcafe.com. Please come back next week for his interview, but for those not familiar with his work, see his short biographical sketch below.
Dr. Dirk Hegemann dedicates his working life mainly to plasma coatings. As a physicist he built up his first plasma chamber in 1995 to investigate novel hard coatings (diploma thesis at Technical University Darmstadt, Germany). The following three years, he performed his PhD work in collaboration with Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart, Germany, focusing on plasma polymer deposition processes. Staying another four years with Fraunhofer, Dirk determined what is required to successfully transfer plasma processes to industry. Thus prepared, in 2003 he moved to Empa in St.Gallen, Switzerland, a research institute for materials science and technology, where unique pilot-scale plasma reactors are available to further conduct his studies. He became leader of the “Plasma&Coating” group performing both fundamental science and industry-driven projects. To maintain contact with universities, Dirk teaches courses on plasma and vacuum technology (e.g. at ETH Zurich). Furthermore, he is among the Board of Directors of the International Plasma Chemistry Society and is currently serving as treasurer. Dirk is always eager to find a deeper understanding of plasma polymerization processes as well as for initial growth processes of plasma polymer and metal layers and is very open for discussions and debates.