Stable microstructures are the fundament of devices in science and technology. The Central Scientific Facility Materials prepares metal, ceramic or semiconductor thin films by means of physical vapour deposition. Tailored microstructures are achieved by studying nucleation, film formation and evolution of the different material systems.
The scientific effort in the ZWE is concentrated on the fabrication of
- two-dimensional layers, covering the substrate or forming defined, faceted islands. Both classical microstructures are grown by physical vapour deposition (PVD). These films represent the majority of specimens fabricated in the Thin Film Laboratory;
- structured substrates and thin films, by means of reactive ion etching (RIE) and initiator mediated nano-whisker growth. Both methods enable the fabrication of high aspect structures.
The following PVD and surface analysis techniques are employed in the Central Scientific Facility:
PVD techniques: Five magnetron sputtering systems (DC and RF); one high and four ultra high vaccum. Two thermal evaporation chambers; one high and one ultra high vacuum.
- Surface analysis: X-ray photoelectron and Auger electron spectroscopy; Scanning probe microscopy (STM and AFM); In situ electron diffraction (RHEED)