As an innovative R&D partner the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST offers solutions in surface engineering which are developed in cooperation with customers from industry and research. The IST's "product" is the surface, optimized by modification, patterning, and coating for applications in the business units mechanical engineering, tools and automotive technology, aerospace, energy and electronics, optics, and also life science and ecology. The main technology units at the IST are atmospheric pressure processes, low pressure plasma processes as well as chemical vapor deposition. The Center of Tribological Coatings focusses on the friction reduction, wear and corrosion protection. The Application Center for Plasma and Photonics deals with mobile plasma sources and laser plasma hybrid processes. The experience with thin-film deposition and applications is complemented by excellent capabilities in surface analysis and in simulating vacuum-based processes.