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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J001074/1
Title: Creating Silicon Based Platforms for New Technologies
Principal Investigator: Leadley, Professor DR
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Warwick
Scheme: Platform Grants
Starts: 01 March 2012 Ends: 28 February 2017 Value (£): 1,367,289
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electronic Devices & Subsys. Materials Synthesis & Growth
Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
26 May 2011 Platform Grants Full Proposals 26 May 2011 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Si-based structures are likely to be central to a new era of technologies with a major impact on society, spanning computing and health monitoring, to combating climate change. For this, serious and well established Group IV semiconductor (Si, Ge) epitaxy capabilities will be in great demand.

The Warwick Nano-Silicon group focuses on epitaxial growth of Group IV heterostructures; their structural and electrical properties; the physics of these materials and functional devices fabricated from them. The Group has a unique growth capability, with both flexible research and industrially compatible systems, that enables it to respond to exciting new developments in silicon-based technologies: nano-electronics, silicon photonics, solar power, quantum computing, spintronics and electronic refrigeration ("cooltronics"). A major strategy of the Group has been to use expertise established in the field of nanoelectronics for novel and diverse applications.

This Platform Grant would be used to establish a flexible infra-structure to realise the huge potential of the epitaxy facilities at Warwick. A set of feasibility studies would be spawned on specific ideas that are either too speculative, under developed or individually too incremental to gain Responsive Mode support. These would enable expertise to be developed in a wide range of novel epitaxy techniques that anticipate demands and, by pushing the boundaries of epitaxy, generate new disruptive technologies. Each activity would be supported by staff effort from Research Assistants seconded from, or between, existing funded projects or by providing short RA appointments to recently completed PhD students who are in their most productive period just after thesis submission. Full programmes subsequently generated will contribute to the longer term future of the Nano-Silicon Group, enhancing its already significant international reputation, and could themselves generate considerable impact.

Researchers in the Group would receive a significant career boost from training in epitaxy and characterization. There would be opportunities for exchanges to other European institutes, which are extremely beneficial for collaboration and career development. Researchers would also develop new skills by attending international workshops. By being given responsibility for delivering a feasibility study, each researcher would have opportunities for leadership development.

Some activities will directly support the Group's current projects. For instance, development of low temperature epitaxy using new CVD precursors, for which processes currently only exist for specific cases and many are commercially confidential. This will enable novel multi-layered structures with advanced and unique electronic and optical properties, and will improve the abruptness of interfaces and doping control required in existing structures such as superlattices, THz diodes and quantum cascade lasers. Another example is incorporating tin with the other Group IV elements to provide a larger lattice constant and hence a route to integrating a wide range of III-V devices on silicon.

The flexibility to respond rapidly to new ideas will be a great benefit, especially in a field where device performance doubles every 18 months. Similarly, opportunities often arise in existing projects to investigate alternative directions. Within a Platform these could be followed alongside the original work, adding value to the existing programme yet avoiding mission creep or spreading existing resources too thinly.

Overall the flexible resources available within a Platform Grant will be of great assistance in pursuing our long term strategic goals of developing silicon based epitaxy for a diverse range of applications.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk