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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W006243/1
Title: Rapid Prototyping of Novel Devices with In-situ Deposition, Imaging and Nanolithography
Principal Investigator: Morrison, Professor K
Other Investigators:
Banerjee, Dr N Borisov, Dr P Dejene, Dr F
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics
Organisation: Loughborough University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 December 2021 Ends: 23 December 2024 Value (£): 1,997,801
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Condensed Matter Physics Electronic Devices & Subsys.
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
12 Jul 2021 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Interview Panel July 2021 - Panel 2 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
With the current progress in understanding and application of 2D materials such as graphene and borophene (Nobel Prize Physics 2010 and experimentally confirmed in 2015, respectively), and topological matter (Nobel Prize Physics 2016), there is increased need to enable preparation of devices that could test the potential applications of these materials in the next generation of electronic devices. Such applications include data storage and computing (e.g. spintronics, optoelectronics, magnetic tunnel junctions), quantum technologies, neuromorphics (e.g. 2D materials for memristors) and energy storage and conversion (e.g. solar cells, thermoelectrics). One of the limitations, with regards to integrating these materials into a device is that they are often sensitive to air. For example, phosphorene, which is the 2D analogue of black phosphorous will react readily with water, but its thickness dependant bandgap makes it ideally suited for 2D optoelectronics.

The aim of this research is to establish a state-of-the-art system for the preparation and characterisation of thin film devices including: nanopatterning in a glovebox environment; sputtering of key materials (such as Au, Pt, Cu, Co, TaOx, NbOx, TaN); and scanning probe microscopy (scanning tunnelling microscopy and atomic force microscopy) for in-situ surface and electronic structure characterisation. This system will be comprised of 3 main parts that are connected so that samples can be exchanged under inert gas, or high vacuum. This unprecedented combination of features will enable preparation of 2D-3D heterostructures, interfaces and devices in high vacuum - especially important as 2D materials can be sensitive to air. In addition, the in-built flexibility of the system will also underpin several research areas that require only 1 (or more) of the 3 parts. For example, it could be used to prepare biomedical sensors with a combination of nanopatterning and thin film deposition.

To establish a diverse user base we will do the following: time will be set aside for regular training workshops; standard operating procedures will be developed; example devices will be prepared to demonstrate the system's capability; and it will be advertised online, at conferences and through various academic and industrial networks.

This system will ensure that the UK remains competitive in emerging research areas that will drive the next generation of electronics. It will, for example, enable rapid testing of new devices, and design and creation of devices to test theory on the forefront of quantum materials research.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk