Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists from the UAB and ICMAB achieve unprecedented control of formation of nanostructures

08.05.2002


Atomic Force Microscope image of nanoislands


A team of researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, together with researchers from ICMAB (CSIC) and other Russian and Ukrainian scientists, have discovered an unprecedented method for accurately controlling the formation of nanometric structures made of semiconducting material in the form of islets, using promising optoelectronic applications in the most advanced communication technology. The discovery was featured as a cover story by the prestigious Nanotechnology magazine.

One of the areas that is currently being most thoroughly researched with respect to future applications is the manipulation of surfaces on a nanometric scale, up to the point of practically constructing and manipulating structures atom by atom, and whereby the quantum effects could give these materials new properties, with revolutionary applications for nanoelectronics, optoelectronics and computing. One of these structures is the so-called quantum dot, in which electrons lose their capacity for mobility in spatial dimensions and become confined to a zero dimension (a dot). At the moment, the experiments with semiconductor materials most similar to quantum dots are the formation of nanoilles, semiconductor islets of several tens of nanometers of diameter and height. These islets can be produced using lithographic techniques, “printing” them onto the surface of a substrate, but for a decade now, scientists have been working on a new, and more efficient and stable, method for constructing them: the spontaneous formation of nanoilles.

Now, a team of researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, together with researchers from the Institute of the Science of Materials in Barcelona (a CSIC institute on the UAB campus), the Institute of Microstructure Physics in Nizhny Novgorod (Russia) and the Institute of Semiconductor Physics in Kiev (Ukraine), have developed unprecedented accuracy in the control of the growth of nanoilles. These researchers have made a detailed study of the spontaneous formation of SiGe nanoilles (semiconductor material) by depositing thin layers of geranium atoms onto silicon substrates, and have observed, for the first time, how they separately affect the thickness of the layers of geranium and the temperature of formation of nanoilles in their distribution, composition and in two possible forms: pyramid or rounded.



The team of researchers has developed an unprecedented level of control of the distribution, shape and composition of the SiGe nanoilles, such that by varying the thickness of the layers of geranium and the temperature of the silicon substrate they can obtain, at will, large densities of small pyramid islets, large round islets distributed at much lower densities or even a uniform mixture of pyramid and rounded islets. As for the control of the composition of the islets’ SiGe semiconductor material, the researchers have observed that as temperature is increased, so does the silicon content, independently of the form and distribution of the nanoilles.

This research was later considered worthy of being the cover story in the prestigious Nanotechnology magazine, and may have important implications for the fields of nanoelectronics and optoelectronics, as semiconductor lasers (such as those used in ‘laser pointers’) manufactured with this material could emit light in a far wider range of colours than at present. It is expected that this discovery will improve the transmission of information via fibre optics and in electronic circuits, the basis of new communication technologies.

The researchers are now working on the formation of other quantum nanostructures, most particularly semiconductor nanolagoons, which are formed spontaneously on depositing layers of cadmium selenium (CdSe) onto zinc selenium (ZnSe) substrates.

Octavi López Coronado | alphagalileo

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms
16.10.2017 | Université de Genève

nachricht On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves
16.10.2017 | Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC)

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

Im Focus: Small collisions make big impact on Mercury's thin atmosphere

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.

Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

Conference Week RRR2017 on Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands

28.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline

16.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>