Nanoscience and Materials for Information Technologies

In situ and operando characterization of nanostructural materials, devices, and technological processes

The fabrication, processing and functionalization of materials based on nanostructures involves multiscale processes which often prohibit conventional characterization approaches. The penetration depth of X-rays, together with the brilliance of synchrotron radiation make X-ray scattering and diffraction techniques highly attractive for characterizing  these materials. Complementary to locally-resolving electron microscopy, these X-ray techniques give access to macroscopically representative statistical structure correlation properties at micro-, nano-, and atomic length scales. Using coherent diffraction imaging techniques even individual nano-objects can be investigated.

These activities build on the X-ray scattering cluster at IPS, with its state-of- the-art NANO beamline and experimental station equipped with heavy duty diffractometers for single crystal and powder diffraction, grazing incidence surface and interface scattering techniques, and at other synchrotron facilities such as ESRF, PETRA III, SOLEIL, and SLS.  

Dedicated facilities for Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD), Metal-Organic Vapor Phase Epitaxy (MOVPE), Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE), and sputtering, enable in situ X-ray scattering experiments during thin-film and nanostructure formation. These studies are complemented by extensive surface and thin-film analysis facilities such as Reflection High-Energy Electron Diffraction (RHEED), Low-Energy Electron Diffraction (LEED), Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES), XPS, as well as Atomic-Force Microscopy (AFM) and Scanning-Tunneling Microscopy (STM) at the IPS UHV-analytical lab.