SFA Ceramic X.0

High-precision micro-manufacturing of ceramics

PI: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Brugger
Project start: 1st July 2017
Project duration: 48 months
SFA website: http://www.sfa-am.ch/ceramic-x0.html


Project team (leaders):
  • Prof. Dr. Christophe Moser, Laboratory of Applied Photonic Devices, EPF Lausanne
  • Prof. Dr. Demetri Psaltis, Optics Laboratory, EPF Lausanne
  • Dr. Gurdial Blugan, Laboratory for High Performance Ceramics, Empa
  • Prof. Dr. Katharina Maniura, Laboratory for Biointerfaces, Empa
  • Prof. Dr. Helena Van Swygenhoven, Photons for Engineering and Manufacturing Group, PSI

Project team (LMIS1):

  • Dr. Jongmoon Jang
  • Lorenz Hagelüken



Engineered ceramic materials have found widespread use in various industrial applications due to their unique properties. However, it is difficult if not impossible to produce micron-scale high-precision ceramic components with current manufacturing techniques.

The main aim of this project is thus to develop novel micro-manufacturing techniques for high-precision, ceramic components based on polymer-derived ceramics (PDC). Furthermore, novel PDC materials will be evaluated for their in vitro biocompatibility as dental implants as well as pacemaker electrodes.


Scope of Research Activities
  1. Development of polymer-derived ceramics (PDC) materials suitable for micro-casting
  2. Development of processes and devices to …
    • Manufacture micro-molds,
    • Fill preceramic polymers (PCPs) into these micro-molds (micro-casting) and
    • Transform the material into PDC micro-parts by pyrolysis
  3. Characterization of the ceramic micro-parts regarding in vitro biocompatibility as…
    • Dental implants
    • Pacemaker electrodes


Key Technical Problems to Solve
  • Increase the achievable precision of the ceramic micro-parts.
  • Find ways to overcome current issues in the manufacturing of high precision ceramics due to shrinkage.
  • Define PDC compositions leading to bright colored implant materials.
  • Develop a suitable 3D in vitro model and setup with electrical pacing capabilities to study the fibrotic encapsulation of PDC implant materials.


  • High precision watch parts
  • Dental implants
  • Implantable (e.g. pacemaker) electrodes