Research in SIMTech



The Surface Technology Group (STG) works to enhance competitiveness of the local industry through research, generation and application of innovative coatings and surface engineering processes, and through training technology specialists. The group aims to be a leading R&D centre in surface technology, developing high performance coatings and surface engineering technologies to make products more cost effective, while increasing functionality, productivity, and useful life cycle.

Towards this goal, the group has built up core competence and expertise in: (1) Functional coating design and characterisation, (2) Materials synthesis and chemical formulation, (3) Coating deposition processes, and (4) Surface chemical modification and structuring.

Research activities have concentrated on coating development using hybrid composite materials. Novel or multiple coating functionalities have been realized through innovation in materials engineering and processing. Coating process capabilities established range from physical vapour deposition, chemical vapour deposition, sol-gel deposition, electrolytic and electroless plating, anodizing and surface conversion coating, surface structuring or micro-fabrication by photolithography chemical etching/deposition and surface self-assembly.  

Technical focus of STG is on coating technologies for applications in precision engineering (PE), aerospace, marine, automotive, bio-engineering, optical, electronics, environmental and clean energy, consumer appliances and construction industries. Targeted functions include wear and scratch protection, dry lubrication, transparent conductors, corrosion protection, easy-clean and other surface properties such as, self-cleaning, anti-microbial, anti-slip, and photochromic smart coatings. 


Core Competencies:

Vapour Deposition and Thermal Spray

·        Coating design tailored for applications

·        Physical vapour deposition (PVD)

·        Unbalanced magnetron

·        Cathodic arc sputtering

·        Plasma-enhanced PVD

·        Atmospheric pressure chemical vapour deposition (APCVD)

·        Thin film characterisation

·        Thermal spray coating characterisation

Electrochemical Process

•         Electroplating of metals and alloys

•         Anodising of aluminium and magnesium alloys

•         Electroless nickel (EN) composite coating on metals

•         Eleectroless nickel plating on polymer composites

•         Precision electroforming

•         Photo-electrochemical precision fabrication

Functional Coatings

·        Particle synthesis and encapsulation

·        Sol-gel chemistry formulation for various functional coatings

·        Scratch resistant cum decorative

·        Anti-corrosion

·        Anti-stick

·        Optical

·        Photochromic

·        Easy-to-clean

·        Anti-fingerprint

·        Photocatalytic and Self-cleaning

·        Bioactive/biocompatible

·        Transparent & conductive

·          Surface grafting of monomer and polymers for energy switching and drug elution

·          Sol-gel coating processing - spray, dipping, screen printing

·          Modelling and optimisation of scratch resistant films

·          Large area roll-to-roll coating processing


Corrosion Characterisation and Protection

·          Materials Selection,

·          Validation and Benchmark Corrosion Mechanisms and Failure Analysis

·          Test Methods

·          Corrosion protection solutions

Technologies Available for Transfer


Vapour Deposition

•         Super tough carbon nanocomposite coating

•         Nanocomposite wear-resistant coatings for PE tools

•         Dry-lubricating hard coatings

Electrochemical Process

•         Magnesium duplex coating

•         Stress-free nickel electroforming

•         Hard anodising


Functional Coatings

•         Decorative protective sol-gel coating for Al-alloys

•         Anti-corrosion sol-gel coating for Al & stainless steel

•         Slip-resistant coating for glass

•         Easy-to-clean coating for metal and polymer

•         Hydrophobic coating for textiles

•         Hydrophobic or superhydrophilic coating for polymers

•         Anti-microbial anti-fouling coatings

•         Solar responsive coatings


•         Automatic synthesis of silver nanowires and nano- particles, and other nanomaterials

Target Industries

§  Precision Engineering

§  Aerospace

§  Automotive

§  Marine, Oil & Gas

§  Construction

§  Alternative Energy

§  Biomedical and Healthcare

§  Optical and Electronics

Industry Partners

§  Altimate EnviroCare Services

§  ASM Technology Singapore

§  BD (Becton Dickinson) Singapore

§  BeCe

§  CEL Coatings Industries

§  Ching Yi Crafting

§  Cooper Cameron Singapore

§  Essilor Singapore


§  Feinmetall Singapore

§  Haruna

§  Hewlett Packard Singapore

§  HT Glass

§  Infineon Technologies

§  Nano Eco Science (Singapore)

§  Nico Steel

§  Philips Consumer Lifestyle

§  PIE Electroplating

§  PJI Contract

§  Polycore

§  Procter & Gamble

§  Redwood Interior

§  Rhodia Asia Pacific

§  Rolls-Royce

§  Samko Timber

§  SCA Specialty Chemical

§  Shimano (S)

§  Singapore Safety Glass

§  Schlumberger

§  SMC Industrial

§  Stamping Industries

§  Star Controls Engineering Co

§  Sterling Impreglon Asia

§  ST Kinetics

§  Sunningdale Tech

§  Sunstar Engineering

§  The Singapore Mint

§  Tri-Star Industries

§  Union Inks & Graphics

§  Unisteel Technology

§  Vestas Technology R&D Singapore

§  Wangi Industrial

Research Partners

•           University of Cambridge

•           Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN)

•           Institute of Charles Gerhardt (France)

•           Institute of Chemical & Engineering Sciences (ICES)

•           Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC)

•           Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)

•           Koszalin University of Technology (Poland)

•           Manchester University (UK)

•           University of Oxford (UK)

•           Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

•           National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Japan)

•           National University of Singapore (NUS)

•           French Corrosion Institute (FCI)

•           Technical University of Munich (Germany)

•           Tohoku University (Japan)

Download this brochure for more information.

    • PCT/SG2015/000073, Filters and Filtering Methods, filed on 12 March 2015. 

    • US patent application No. 14/313,313, Method for forming a composite film, Filing date: 24 June 2014.

    • US Provisional Patent No. 61/481, 754, "Method and Test Kit for Quantitative Assessment of Anti-Fingerprint Properties of Surfaces", Filed on 3 May 2011

    • US Provisional Patent No. 61/482, 284, "Method and Test Kit for Quantitative Assessment of Anti-Fingerprint Properties of Surfaces", Filed on 4 May 2011

    • Singapore Patent No. Sg 149006, "Synthesis of PTC", Granted on 30 July 2010

    • US Patent No. 7594718B2," UV Curable Coating Composition", Filed on 29 September 2009

    • China Patent No. CN1906253, "UV Curable Coating Composition", Filed 26 August 2009

    • Singapore Patent No. 127030, "Thermally Resistant Adhesive", Filed on 30 June 2009

    • US Patent No. 405, 466 B2, "Method of Fabricating Microelectro-mechanical System Structures", Granted on 29 July 2008

    • Singapore Patent No. P-91330, "Iron and Soleplate for an Iron", Granted on 29 February 2008

    • Singapore Patent No. P-116619, "Method of Fabricating Microelectro-mechanical System Structures", Granted on 29 February 2008

    • US Patent No. 7306315B2, "UV Curable Coating", Filed on 11 December 2007

    • US Patent No. 7153759 B2, "Method of Fabricating Microelectro-mechanical System Structures", Granted on 26 December 2006

    • Taiwan Patent No. PCTSG2006/000148, "Integrated Shadow Mask for Full Angle Deposition", Filed on 9 June 2006

    • US Patent No. 2005/0247915 A1, "Compound for Screen Printing, Screen Printed Layer and Substrate Provided with Such Layer", Filed on 10 November 2005

    • Singapore Patent No. P-92820, "Domestic Appliance and Method of Manufacturing Thereof", Granted on 30 September 2005

    • US Patent No. 6940627, "Control System for Electrochromic Devices", Filed on 06 September 2005

    • US Patent No. 75447, "Coating Surface", Filed on 27 August 2004

    • International Patent No. WO 2005115056 A1, "Layer for use in a Domestic Appliance", Filed on 9 May 2004

    • US Patent No. 56157, "Submergible Pumping System with Thermal Sprayed Polymeric Wear Surfaces", Filed on 20 May 2003

    • International Patent No. WO2004092294, "Thermally Resistant Adhesive", Filed on 5 March 2003

    • International Patent No. WO 2004/023111 A1, "Apparatus and Method for Bonding Strength Testing", Filed on 9 September 2002

    • International Patent No. WO 2004/02260 A1, "Compound for Screen Printing, Screen Printed Layer and Substrate Provided with Such Layer", Filed on 14 August 2002

    • International Patent No. WO 2004/049761 A1, "Sol-gel Based Heating Element", Filed on 22 November 2002

    • US Patent No. 6012900, "Submergible Pumping System with Thermal Sprayed Polymeric Wear Surfaces", Filed on 11 January 2000.

    • UK Patent No. GB 2341899, "Submergible Pumping System with Thermal Sprayed Polymeric Wear Surfaces", Filed on 29 March 2000

    • Europe Patent No. EP 0988898, "Thermal Spray Application of Polymeric Material", Filed on 29 March 2000

    • Canada Patent No. CA 2283022, "Thermal Spray Application of Polymeric Material", Filed on 23 March 2000

    • Japan Patent No. JP2000-096203, "Method for Thermally Spraying Polymer Material", Filed on 4 April 2000



  • National Technology Award 2002, Dr Chang Soo Kong, Ms Linda Wu Yongling, Mr Leon Krings and Mr Sia Lee Heng (both from Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care).
Research Themes