World of the small things

History and motivation:
Nanoscience in the first phase was a field concerned with exploring new properties. In the second phase, the focus was on translating the learned properties into applications. To date, this has been partially successful; there are a large number of "potential applications" that hardly exclude any field of science. The problem today, however, lies mainly in the fact that the technologies used do not allow the "potential applications" to be converted into affordable products, and the notion of scalability and nanomanufacturing is increasingly coming to the fore. The goal of the research activity at the Department of Nanotechnology is based on this realization.

The future goal of the nanotechnology discipline is to expand the scope of nanostructured functional units and to invent and advance scalable technologies that form a sustainable basis for nanomanufacturing. The processes should enable the integrability of materials and assemblies across traditional material and scaling boundaries. For materials, we are primarily interested in semiconductors and metals in the form of nanoparticles, nanowires, and microscopic chips. The processes should make it possible to arrange and electrically connect the assemblies in two and three dimensions. The functional units are already used in basic research as light sources, absorber or sensor layers. The department has expertise in epitaxy of large bandgap semiconductors, micro- and nanostructuring for the fabrication of optical and electronic devices and operates a well-developed optical, structural and atomic-chemical analytics and metrology.

Research focus:

  • "Nanomanufacturing" - development of scalable processes for the fabrication of heterogeneous systems (macro/nano), which dissolve traditional material and scaling limits.

  • Fabrication and integration of nano- and macroscopic functional units (light sources, absorber and sensor elements).

  • Technology development for the fusion of nano- and macroscopic functional units of various types.

  • Invention of novel scalable:

    • Material deposition processes from the gas phase

    • Self-organization processes from the liquid phase

    • Nanostructuring processes in three dimensions

  • Technology development in the field of epitaxy, patterning and device processing of inorganic semiconductors incl. Si, AlN, GaN, InN, ZnO and graphene with the aim of demonstrating advanced integrability. The goal is to enable the fabrication of innovative products in the application fields of sensors, electronics, energy efficient lighting, photovoltaics and life science.