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Advanced Materials & Surfaces

Deposition and Characterisation of Functional Thin Films for Electronics, Energy and Optical Applications

The Advanced Materials and Surfaces Group are experts in the development and application of methods such as chemical vapour deposition (CVD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD). Application areas currently include high-k dielectrics for advanced CMOS applications such as III-V based MOSFETS, 2D transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) materials, carbon nanotube (CNT)-based electronics, high performance capacitors and MIM-based devices, photo-electrochemical water splitting devices, copper ALD and the ALD of copper diffusion barriers, the growth of oxides and doped transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) for photovoltaic and lithium ion battery applications and other applications requiring  transparent conducting materials such as displays and sensors. The group is also active in the area of perovskite-based solar cell technologies via the FP7 project PLIANT and the H2020 project CHEOPS.  

In addition the group studies roll-to-roll assembly and testing of organic photovoltaics (OPVs), organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), novel anti-microbial, self-cleaning surfaces for a wide range of applications, together with complex oxides that possess linked ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties and as a result are termed multiferroic materials, which may find application in next generation memory devices as well as novel sensors and actuators.

Most recently the group has begun to make notable progress in terms of extending the advanced growth methodologies towards commercially viable technologies that can be applied under atmospheric pressure or near atmospheric pressures, suitable for in-line, continuous or roll-to-roll application, see below.

The group is also very well-known for its work on the growth and characterisation of synthetic photonic crystals based upon opaline systems and the assembly of photonic crystals using the Langmuir-Blodgett method. Latest developments in this area also align with the concept of extending the assembly methods towards commercially viable, roll-to-roll deposition systems and the use of chitosan-based interpenetrating network (IPN) systems.

The group collaborates extensively with researchers in the USA, Brazil, Japan and across Europe. Facilities include the most comprehensive suite of ALD systems on the island of Ireland, together with several chemical vapour deposition systems, 2 Langmuir-Blodgett troughs and a wide range of characterisation facilities.

 

multiferroic materials
An example of our work on multiferroic materials which is headed up by Dr Lynette Keeney. A cross-sectional HR-TEM image and diffraction pattern taken from a single higher-Fe content Aurivillius grain within a sample of B6TFMO grown by chemical solution deposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) for the growth of next-generation CMOS devices
Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) for the growth of next-generation CMOS devices - work that is led by Dr Ian Povey. A simple MOS structure with a hafnium dioxide high-k dielectric layer separated from the III-V channel by an MgO interface control layer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roll-to-roll Langmuir Blodgett forced assembly system
CRoll-to-roll Langmuir Blodgett forced assembly system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atmospheric pressure roll-to-roll atomic layer deposition system
Atmospheric pressure roll-to-roll atomic layer deposition system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liquid/solution coater, with slot dye, doctor blade or gravure printer
Liquid/solution coater, with slot dye, doctor blade or gravure printer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completed 4-layer colloidal photonic crystal film deposited onto PET using our roll-to-roll process
Completed 4-layer colloidal photonic crystal film deposited onto PET using our roll-to-roll process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further processing of the photonic crystal film using the liquid/solution roll-to-roll system available within AMSG at Tyndall
Further processing of the photonic crystal film using the liquid/solution roll-to-roll system available within AMSG at Tyndall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These images represent an application of our work in the area of the manufacturability of colloidal photonic crystals- sometimes referred to as artificial opals, which is led by Dr Maria Bardosova. Large area photonic crystal films of this type might find application as light trapping layers for solar cells, in optical sensor devices, in displays or signage or in brighter light emitting devices.

 

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