For building integration of solar-powered energy systems, aesthetic aspects play an importantrole. Covering a standard solar collector with a coloured glazing, opaque to the human eye but highly transparent to solar energy, permits a perfect architectural integration of solar thermal panels into glazed building façades. The thermal energy produced can be used for both solar heating and cooling, as well as for domestic hot water. The principle of the coloured appearance is based on interference in the thin-film coating on the reverse side of the cover glass. Different interference filters based on nano-composite materials deposited by the solgel method were presented at CISBAT 2007 . Currently, we are developing new plasma-deposition processes, which are more suitable for industrial large-scale production. A new state-of-the-art ultra-high vacuum (UHV) system for magnetron sputtering deposition of novel nano-composite solar coatings has recently been designed, constructed, and installed at the Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory (LESO-PB). Up to five different magnetron sources can be used simultaneously, in reactive and non-reactive mode. The geometric configuration of the chamber has been optimised for best film homogeneity and allows the deposition on substrates up to 100 mm in diameter. The optical and electronic properties of thin films are closely interrelated and highly relevant for solar coatings. Photoelectron spectroscopy provides information on the coating structure, the deposited material and its chemical state inside the coating, as well as the nature of the interface between different layers. A system for ESCA analysis (Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis) has recently been installed and put into operation at LESO-PB. By ellipsometry and spectrophotometry, we can determine exactly the different optical properties of the coating, such as layer thickness, refractive index, or absorption coefficient. This provides best conditions for highly efficient research and development on new materials for further optimisation of the coloured interference filters.First results have been obtained with our new experimental infrastructure and will be presented in this contribution.