Thin Films Laboratory has been established in 2017 to enhance the institute (ISSP) focus on thin films science and technology. The Laboratory provides thin film deposition service of a wide variety of inorganic materials, using different deposition techniques from existing and new tools, including the PVD vacuum multifunctional R&D cluster SAF25/50, the magnetron sputtering G500M cluster including High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS), as well as PLD, MOCVD and ALD. The deposition tools are operated by highly skilled staff, enabling the deposition of novel materials as required by internal projects and external customers.

The TFL laboratory collaboarates with the largest vacuum technology industry among the Baltic countries: SIDRABE VACUUM, Ltd., SCHAEFFLER BALTIC, Ltd., GROGLASS, Ltd., ALFA, Inc.. The thin film deposition techniques developed at ISSP during the recent years are extensively used for thin film deposition in the framework of EU projects: H2020 CO2EXIDE, EUROFUSION, FP7 and EU Latvia (ERDF) projects as well as Competence centre BKC.

Scientific degree Name Surname Position Contact information
Dr.habil.phys. Juris Purāns Head of the laboratory and Leading researcher Purans
Dr.phys. Andris Āzens Leading researcher Andris.Azens
Ph.D. Edgars Butanovs Leading researcher Edgars.Butanovs
Dr.phys. Lauris Dimitročenko Leading researcher Lauris.Dimitrocenko
Dr.phys. Boris Polyakov Leading researcher Boriss.Polakovs
Dr.phys. Mārtiņš Zubkins Leading researcher Martins.Zubkins
Dr.phys. Ilze Aulika Leading researcher Ilze.Aulika
Dr.phys. Vera Skvorcova Leading researcher Vera.Skvorcova
  Alberts Eiduss Programming Engineer Alberts.Eiduss
  Andrejs Ogurcovs Researcher Andrejs.Ogurcovs
Mg. Halil Arslan Research Assistant Halil.Arslan
  Jeļena Arhipova Engineer Jelena.Arhipova
  Kevon Bipinchandra Kadiwala Engineer Kevon.Kadiwala
  Aleksandrs Popovs Engineer  
Bc. Kaspars Staltāns-Vilnis Engineer Kaspars.Vilnis
  Edvards Strods Engineer Edvards.Strods
  Viktors Vibornijs Engineer Viktors.Vibornijs
Bc. Luīze Dipāne Laboratory Assistant Luize.Dipane
  Ēriks Dipāns Laboratory Assistant Eriks.Dipans
  Aleksandrs Novikovs Laboratory Assistant Aleksandrs.Novikovs

Thin Films Laboratory (TFL) has been established in 2017 to enhance ISSP’s UL focus on thin films science and technology. The methods of film deposition include evaporation (thermal, e-beam and pulsed laser deposition) and magnetron sputtering (DC, pulsed-DC, RF, HIPIMS) technologies. There is a number of deposition techniques integrated in a single multifunctional cluster tool developed and built by SIA "Sidrabe Vacuum ". Several stand-alone magnetron sputtering and evaporation units are in use as well.

The TFL laboratory strongly collaboarate with the largest vacuum technology industry (SIDRABE VACUUM, Ltd., SCHAEFFLER BALTIC, Ltd., GROGLASS, Ltd., ALFA, Inc.) among the Baltic countries. Thin film deposition techniques developed at ISSP UL during the recent years are extensively used for thin film deposition in the framework of the EU FP6 (X-TIP) and FP7 (EUROFusion CfP-WP15-ENR-01/UL-01) projects as well as Competence centre BKC. Apart from the standard versions of Magnetron sputtering, High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS) processes are developed at ISSP UL using highly ionised pulse plasma source for sputtering and modification of material properties.

The Laboratory provides thin film deposition services of a wide variety of materials, using different techniques from existing and new deposition tools, including the multifunctional R&D cluster SAF50 plant, HIPIMS G500M, PLD, MOCVD and MOCVD. The deposition tools are operated by highly skilled staff, enabling the deposition of novel materials as required by internal projects and external customers.

The SAF25/50 multifunctional R&D cluster plant (installed in a class 7-8 clean room) is well suited for research and development works as well as for feasibility studies and more general academic work in the field of thin film technologies. The plant is a multifunctional, expandable, modular and flexible system comprising an input/output chamber with ion gun, a central substrate transfer chamber with a radial telescopic transport arm, 7 deposition chambers and a glovebox. The plant is equipped with DC, pulsed-DC, RF, HIPIMS magnetron power supplies, e-beam gun, process control by Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES), high pressure quadrupole gas analyzers and in-situ film characterisation by ellipsometry. Installation of two HIPIMS sources and a two channel Time resolved OES system for process control is currently underway. Capitalizing on HIPIMS advantages, this will open new venues for the development of thin film deposition methods for coatings of more complex composition and/or layer structure than obtainable with a single deposition source.

PLD will be installed and developed in the near future for production of thin films and heterostructures from various materials with complicated stoichiometry. PLD will allow a one-to-one transfer of elements from target to substrate, which is a strong advantage for the deposition of multiple element systems. Different atmospheres of deposition allow for varying of film properties in a wide range. One of the planned PLD applications is a sythesis of core-shell nanowire heterostructures, where core is a single crystal semiconducting material (e.g. ZnS, ZnO or GaN nanowire), and shell is layered VdW material belonging to TMDs materials group (e.g. MoS2, WS2, ReS2, etc.). Such heterostuctured materials are perspective for wide range of applications starting from sensors to photocatalitic water splitting.

A MOCVD reactor (Aixtron AIX-200RF) is available for the synthesis of thin films involving metals, liquid metal-organic compounds and gaseous non–metal chemical hydride and oxide gases. The Control of the rate of reactants flow is provided using thermostats for liquid metal-organic compounds, and carrier gas (N2, H2) flow. The control of non-metal chemical hydride gases flows involves both the carrier gas and precursor flows. The equipment will be renovated for the synthesis of classic LED structures, as well as for the synthesis of Ga2O3, ZnO-MgO, and group III nitride 1D nanostructures. There is a possibility to dope the materials, in order to obtain n- or p- conductivity. MOCVD equipment is used to manipulate chemical reactants creating different 1D, 2D, and hybrid structures.

Active projects:

European Regional Development Fund

Functional ultrawide bandgap gallium oxide and zinc gallate thin films and novel deposition technologies (2021-2023)

Large area deposition technologies of multifunctional antibacterial and antiviral nanocoatings (2022-2023)

Smart Metal Oxide Nanocoatings and HIPIMS Technology (2019-2022)

Latvian Council of Science

Epitaxial Ga2O3 thin films as ultrawide bandgap topological transparent electrodes for ultraviolet optoelectronics (2021-2023)

Core-shell nanowire heterostructures of Charge Density Wave materials for optoelectronic applications (2021-2023)


Portable diagnostic device based on a biosensor array of 2D material sensing elements (2021-2023)


Accomplished projects:

Horizon 2020

CO2-based Electrosynthesis of ethylene oXIDE – CO2EXIDE (2018-2021)


Highly Ionised Pulse Plasma Processes (2010-2013)

EC Frameworks Projects

EC 6. IP "X-TIP" Project (2004-2007)

European Regional Development Fund

Nanowire photodetectors (2020)

Innovative glass coatings (2010-2013)

European Regional Development Fund (LIAA administrated)

Multilayer mirrored sapphire substrates for more efficient blue-white LEDs (2020)

Micromachined silicon substrates for the AFM, SEM and TEM nanomechanical tests (2018)

European Social Fund

Innovative materials for transparent electronics and photonics (2013-2015)

Nanomaterials for perspective energy efficient solutions (2009-2012)


When and how ODS particles are formed? - X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and ab initio modelling of ODS steels (2015-2017)

Latvia - France Program “OSMOZE”


Phthalocyanine architectures for sensor application (2012-2013)

Latvian Council of Science

Thin films of rare-earth oxy-hydrides for photochromic applications (2020-2021)

X-ray Absorption studies of metal hydrides under extreme pressure (XA-EXTREM) (2018-2020)

XAFS studies of local structure of functional materials with femtometer accuracy (2013-2016)

Structure in nanoxide compounds and self-organization in stochastic media (2009-2012)

National Research Program

Integration of reliable technologies for protection against Covid-19 in healthcare and high-risk areas (2020)

Latvian Science’s Top 10 Achievements:  2013, 2014 and 2015 (A new magnetron sputtering technology and a new multifunctional R&D cluster tool for thin films manufacturing including transparent conductive coatings)

Latvian Academy of Science award: Acad. E. Silina prize (2009)

Rome International Center for Materials Science of Superstripes "Fibonacci" prize (2016)



  • Uppsala University (UU), Uppsala (Prof. Lars Österlund, Prof. Claes-Göran Granqvist);


  • Fondazione Bruno Kessler, (FBK), Trento;
  • Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare – LABORATORI NAZIONALI DI FRASCATI ,;

M. Zubkins, R. Kalendarev, J. Gabrusenoks, A. Plaude, A. Zitolo, A. Anspoks, K. Pudzs, K. Vilnis, A. Azens and J. Purans, Changes in structure and conduction type upon addition of Ir to ZnO thin films, Thin Solid Films 636 (2017) 694-701.

E. Butanovs, S. Vlassov, A. Kuzmin, S. Piskunov, J. Butikova, B. Polyakov, Fast-response single-nanowire photodetector based on ZnO/WS2 core/shell heterostructures. Appl. Mater. Interfaces 10 (2018) 13869−13876

S. V. Green, A. Kuzmin, J. Purans, C. G. Granqvist, G. A. Niklasson, Structure and composition of sputter-deposited nickel-tungsten oxide films, Thin Solid Films 519 (2011) 2062-2066.

C.G.Granqvist, G.A.Niklasson, A.Azens. Electrochromics: Fundamentals and energy-related applications of oxide-based devices. Appl. Phys. A89 (2007), pp29-35.

J.Purans, P.Fornasini, S. E. Ali, G Dalba, A.Kuzmin, X-ray absorption spectroscopy study of local dynamics and thermal expansion in ReO3, F.Rocca, Phys. Rev. B 92 (2015) 014302:1-12.

S.Vlassov, B.Polyakov, L. M. Dorogin, M. Vahtrus, M. Mets, M.Antsov, R. Saar, A.E. Romanov, A.Lõhmus, and R.Lõhmus. Shape restoration effect in Ag-SiO2 core-shell nanowires. Nano Letters 14 (2014)  5201-5205.

B.Polyakov, A.Kuzmin, K. Smits, J. Zideluns, E. Butanovs, J. Butikova, S. Vlassov, S. Piskunov, Y. F. Zhukovskii. Unexpected Epitaxial Growth of a Few WS2 Layers on {1-100} Facets of ZnO Nanowires, J. Phys. Chem. C, 120 (2016) 21451-21459.

M. Zubkins, R. Kalendarev, J. Gabrusenoks, K. Vilnis, A. Azens, J. Purans. Structural, electrical and optical properties of zinc-iridium oxide thin films deposited by DC reactive magnetron sputtering. Phys. Status Solidi (C) 11 (2014) 1493-1496.

S. Larcheri, C. Armellini, F. Rocca, A. Kuzmin, R. Kalendarev, G. Dalba, R. Graziola, J. Purans, D. Pailharey, F. Jandard, X-ray studies on optical and structural properties of ZnO nanostructured thin films, Superlattices and Microstructures 39 (2006) 267-274.

S. Larcheri, F. Rocca, F. Jandard, D. Pailharey, R. Graziola, A. Kuzmin, J. Purans, X-ray excited optical luminescence detection by scanning near-field optical microscope: a new tool for nanoscience, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 79 (2008) 013702 (9 pp.).

J.Purans, 2015, Method and device for controlling reactive sputtering deposition, Patent Number: EP2881974-A1. Inventor(s): J.Purans.

J.Purans, 2015, Device and method for pvd process diagnostic using X-ray fluorescence local probe. Patent Number: EP2881973-A1, Inventor(s): J. Purans.

D.Tonneau, J.Purans, C.Fauquet, F.Jandard, A.Erko, A.Bjeoumikov, 2013 "Device for topographical characterisation and chemical mapping of surfaces". Patent Number: EP2577325.