LCN teams up with IHP microelectronics to make atomic-scale metallic contacts to germanium

Cobalt islands on the (001) surface of germanium (image credit: W. Koczorowski and T. Grzela).

The LCN has recently begun working with IHP Microelectronics GmbH, a microelectronics research facility of the Leibniz association in Germany with capability for state-of-the-art prototyping of complex integrated BiCMOS SiGe circuits, for the purpose of investigating germanium surfaces and interfaces at the atomic scale.  The immediate aims of the project are to develop an understanding of the atomic-scale materials issues that will speed up the integration of germanium into future silicon-based microelectronic devices. Neil Curson and Steven Schofield are leading the LCN effort and providing expertise in the use of scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) for the investigation and manipulation of semiconductor surfaces at the atomic-scale.  This project is part of an international network for germanium surface and interface research including experimental and theoretical researchers based at University College London (UK), IHP (Germany), Poznan University of Technology and University of Wroclaw (Poland), and the University Roma Tre (Italy).

The establishment of links between LCN and IHP creates significant benefits for researchers of both institutions, notably for the integration of atomically-precise laboratory-based semiconductor investigations with state-of-the art semiconductor processing techniques for future industrial applications.  IHP houses a 1000 m2 class 1 clean room and a full semiconductor device pilot line, while LCN has extensive ultra-high vacuum scanning probe facilities and a range of projects that are developing new insights into semiconductors at the atomic scale.  A Framework Cooperation Agreement has been signed between IHP and LCN.

From left to right: Dr. Wojciech Koczorowski (UCL / PUT), Prof. Marian Radny (PUT / Newcastle (Australia)), Prof. Ryszard Czajka (PUT), Adam Wykrota (PUT), Prof. Leszek Jurczyszyn (Wroclaw University), Dr. Jarek Dabrowski (IHP), Prof. Thomas Schroeder (IHP), Dr. Neil Curson (UCL / LCN) and Tomasz Grzela (IHP); missing: Prof. Dr. Giovanni Capellini (Uni Roma Tre) and Dr Steven Schofield (UCL / LCN).  Above: Cobalt islands on the (001) surface of germanium (image credit: W. Koczorowski and T. Grzela)

Authors: Neil Curson, Steven Schofield

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