New European funding for advanced materials research: Call for proposals in ESPRIT

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ADVANCED MATERIALS Essay New European Funding for Advanced Materials Research : Call for Proposals in ESPRIT By Ingo Hussla* and Natasha Us* 1. Introduction On April 24, 1991, the Council of the Commission of the European Communities agreed on a common position on the specific research and technological development pro- gramme in the field of Information Technology (1990- 1994).['] Then, on July 8, 1991, the work programme was adopted by the Council after the second reading by the Eu- ropean parliament. The ESPRIT programme, along with the new research programme Industrial and Materials Tech- nologies (the successor of the well known BRITEiEURAM programme), is of primary importance for funding of ad- vanced materials research across Europe, including in EFTA countries. On July 27, 1991, the Commission published the call for proposals for R & D projects in the programme ESPRIT.['] The call is open until October 14, 1991. The call for projects in the programme Industrial and Materials Technologies is scheduled to be announced in September; it will be described in a future article. From the total of 5700 million ECU allocated to the Framework Programme, 1352 million ECU is assigned to the ESPRIT programme. The ESPRIT programme provides funds for pre-competitive research and development in five areas : 0 Microelectronics (MEL) 0 Information Processing Systems and Software (IPSS) 0 Advanced Business and Home Systems; Peripherals 0 Computer Integrated Manufacturing and Engineering (CIME) 0 Basic Research (BR) ESPRIT will also fund one cross-area activity: the Open Microprocessor Systems Initiative (OMSI). More specifical- ly, 28% of the ESPRIT funds are designated for ESPRIT Microelectronics, and 10 % are allocated for ESPRIT Basic Research. In the following sections, a wide variety of both long term and pre-competitive materials research in the fields of Infor- [*] Dr. I. Hussla, N. Us (ABHS-P) MEC Micro Electronics Consultants Bonner Wall 6, W-SO00 Kofn 1 (FRG) mation Technology is briefly described. This will provide the reader with the flavor of presently ongoing materials re- search supported by ESPRIT. Then, future research subjects are listed which are related to advanced materials research. Finally, the terms of qualifying for ESPRIT funds are de- scribed; this includes a description of the newly established concept, the Networks of Excellence. 2. Examples of On-going ESPRIT MEL and Basic Research Projects ESPRIT MEL launched 49 projects in its first phase (1984-1989); all of these projects are now completed or approaching completion. In the second phase (1987- 1992), 55 MEL projects were launched, many of which are still in progress. ESPRIT Basic Research is currently running 74 Actions and Working Groups and three Networks of Excel- lence as a result of the first call, which took place in the spring of 1988. Advanced materials for microelectronics are explored both in ESPRIT MEL and ESPRIT BR. These materials can be classified in three categories: Silicon, 111-V compounds, and advanced materials. In the realm of silicon technology, researchers investigate semiconductor on insulator (SOI) and MBE films, Si/Ge epitaxial films, metal-silicide layers, oxides and oxynitrides, semiconducting silicides, and photo- resists. Materials subjects of interest in the field of 111-V compounds are GaAs, InP, InGaAs, and AlGaAs epitaxial films grown by MBE, MOCVD, and HVPE, and the forma- tion of 4 GaAs and 3" InP wafers; a related subject is high- performance quantum devices and optoelectronics. Finally, other advanced materials which are studied for microelec- tronics applications are polymers, organic molecules, crys- tals and thin films, and high-temperature superconducting crystals and thin films. Materials issues have also been addressed in the ABHS- Peripherals area. At this point, three ABHS-P projects strongly emphasize advanced materials research and devel- opment. In this area, advanced materials are needed to de- velop high-density magnetic mass storage, magneto-optical drives, ribbons in printing systems, and large-area flat-panel Adv. Mater. 3 (1991) No. 9 41 6 c> VCH Verlagsgesellschafl mbH. W-6940 Weinheim, 1991 0935-9648/91/0909-04i6 $3.50+ ,2510 Essay ADVANCED MATERIALS displays. Some of the materials needed for these applications are rare-earthltransition-metal alloys and oxide layers, amorphous and polycrystalline silicon films, inks, polymers, metallic magnetic powders and binders, and ferroelectric liq- uid crystals. The subject of superconductivity is of interest to many advanced materials researchers. In the area of superconduc- tivity, ESPRIT funds projects for low-current applications. Meanwhile, Industrial and Materials Technologies provides funds for studies of high current application^.[^] The following are examples of ongoing projects chosen to illustrate the spectrum of advanced materials research in ESPRIT; the descriptions are derived both from yearly up- dated project synopses and from other publications of the CEC. To obtain more information, the reader is advised to address the ESPRIT information desk.[41 A project funded by the ESPRIT programme which aims to develop superconductivity technology is MEL-228 1 : High-T, Superconducting Thin Films and Tunnel Junction Devices (UNITED). The members of the consortium are Thomson-CSF, CNRS, Universite de Paris VII, University of Cambridge, and Nederlandse Philips Bedrijven BV. These partners have been using sputtering, electron-beam co-evap- oration, molecular beam epitaxy, and laser ablation to de- posit smooth epitaxial films, with uniform composition and crystallographic orientation, on substrates such as MgO, or sapphire plus a buffer layer of MgO. This deposition is nec- essary for constructing tunnel junction devices. (A tunnel or Josephson junction is two layers of superconducting materi- al, separated by a thin insulating layer through which super- conducting electrons have to tunnel. The switching time is very fast-typically about 1 picosecond). The tunnel junc- tion is the basis for the superconducting quantum interfer- ence device (SQUID), which is used in sensitive voltmeters, radio-frequency amplifiers, and magnetometers. This ESPRIT project has already fabricated working tunnel junc- tions, some of which show a pronounced energy gap. They have also produced thin-film SQUIDS, which work up to 66 K.13] Another project which also investigates superconductivity issues is Basic Research Action-3146: Study ofthe Influence of Impurities on the Properties of High- Superconductivity (DIRTYSUPRA) ; the partners are Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Faculte des Sciences Appliquees), Max-Planck- Institut fur Festkorperforschung, and Universite de Paris- Sud. It was shown that for certain superconducting systems, the correlation of critical temperatures to in situ impurity content determinations provides fundamental measure- ments which can improve the theoretical understanding of high- T, superconductivity. Significant progress in optoelectronics has been made in Basic Research Action-3174: Ultra- Thin SiliconlGermanium Superlattices (Se/Ge S L S ) . The partners are Daimler-Benz, University of Newcastle, and Technische Universitat Munchen. This project already succeeded in growing ultra- thin layers of Si,Ge,SLS on silicon substrates with period lengths of 10 and 20 monolayers; this growth was achieved at the low temperature of - 300C. Furthermore, in the photoluminescence spectrum, strong signals have been found for 10 and 20 monolayer SLS in the near-infrared region which give strong indications of direct band-gap tran- sitions caused by zone folding in the superlattice. Compari- Dr. Ingo Hussla, 43, Dip1.-Chem. and Dip1.-Ig., is director ofthe consultancy firm MEC, Koln which specializes in technical advise on materials, processes and equipment important for the microelectronics industry. Special emphasis and expertise is provided regarding national and European R & D funding (ESPRIT, BRITE) as well as scientij?c/industrial issues related to R & D in the Neue Bundeslander. Dr. Hussla gained his Ph.D. in UH V-surface science on various materials systems, conducted DFG-supported research on controlled laser-material interactions at Northwestern University, Ill, USA and has held senior research posts in the US and German industry ( I B M , Leybold) , working on advan- ced microelectronic materials andprocessing, including tribology issues and C VDIEtching equipment manufacturing before founding MEC in 1988. Natasha Us studied Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1984 and her Master of Science degree in 1985. While a student, she spent time at IBM, both at the Thomas J . Watson Research Center and the San Jose Research Center. Between 1985 and 1991, she worked as aprocess engineer in the research and development department at Standard Microsystems Corporation in Hauppauge, New York, where she specialized in reactive ion etching. She is presently the European Project Manager for Micro Electronics Consultants. Adv. Mater. 3 (1991) No. 9 0 VCH Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. W-6940 Weinheim, 1991 0935-9648/91/0909-0417 8 3.50 + .25/0 417 ADVANCED Essay MATERIALS son of equal SLS structures grown at different temperature has shown that quality, i.e. interface quality, deviation from average period, and morphology has considerably im- proved. Tailoring the optical properties of the Si,Ge,SLS will have a dramatic impact on today's silicon-based op- toelectronics, because it makes possible the integration of optoelectronic-electronic devices, such as LEDs or photo- diodes, with silicon IC technology. The use of conducting materials as molecular microelec- tronic components is investigated in Basic Research Action- 3121 : Conducting Organic Materials as Molecular Compo- nents for Microelectronics ( M O L C O M ) ; the partners are Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, CISMI University of Copenhagen, LNETI-ICEN, and ADIST-Instituto Superior Tecnico. In the first year, it has been shown that the existence of nonmagnetic disorder does indeed play a crucial role in low-dimensional organic conductors in both the supercon- ducting state and the conductivity state up to about 50 K. The continuation of the work using controlled disorder as a variable parameter will provide a better understanding of the mechanisms giving rise to resistivity in organic conductors. The possibility of using low-dimensional organic conductors as paramagnetic markers for the purpose of authentication has been demonstrated and can now be transferred to indus- try. Organic materials for use in IT applications are also stud- ied in the Basic Research Action-3200: Structure and Trans- port Properties of Organic Low-Dimensional Systems for Ap- plication to Information Technology (OLDS) ; the consor- tium is comprised of Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of Edinburgh, Universita di Genova, Max- Planck-Institut fur Festkorperforschung, Universitat Tubingen, Helmut Hund GmbH, and University of Dublin. This Action will develop the basic science required for molecular electronics, and will use charges on molecules and the orientation of a molecular dipole to represent informa- tion. Information processing then requires manipulation and control of the motion of charge and dipole orientation. In- formation processing devices substantially smaller than in conventional microelectronics can be foreseen. Another project exploring the potential of organic materi- als for microelectronics is Basic Research Action-3314: Eval- uation of Molecular Switch-Type Devices: Theory and Exper- iment (MOLS WITCH) ; the partners are CISMI-University of Copenhagen, University of Uppsala, UniversitC de Stras- bourg, and Max-Planck-Institut fur Festkorperforschung. The results of MOLSWITCH, combined with the outcome of similar efforts by other research groups, will lead to im- proved possibilities for designing molecular materials for microelectronic applications. More specifically, the work helps clarify the possibilities for constructing switching mechanisms on the molecular level. As mentioned above, three projects in ABHS-P are cur- rently addressing issues in advanced materials. They are: ABHS-P-2283: Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays for TV and Office Systems (MATRIX-LCD) a ABHS-P-2360: Development of Ferroelectric Liquid Crys- tal Devices for Information Technology Applications (FELICITA) a ABHS-P-2633 : Magnetic Media for Future Ultra-High- Density Information Storage (MAG- UHD) 3. Future Materials Research Topics Covered in the ESPRIT Call 1991 The general objectives of ESPRIT Microelectronics are to strengthen Community capabilities to design and manufac- ture application-specific integrated circuits in synergy with JESSI (Joint European Submicron Silicon) and to create favorable conditions for small and medium enterprises."] Thus, pre-competitive research and development is funded in areas which shall lead to the advancement of these objecti- ves. ESPRIT Basic Research aims to enhance the potential for future technological breakthroughs in information techno- logy, to benefit from the added value offered by cooperation at the European level, to contribute to the programme's main objectives from an upstream and long-term position, and to reinforce interdisciplinary links."] The following is a partial list of research topics in the new call for proposals. The reader may find it a useful reference in determining to which division of ESPRIT to apply. How- ever, proposals might be interchanged by the CEC if the assessors feel the inappropriate division is addressed by the proposers. 3.1. Topics of the MEL Work Programme - Enabling optoelectronic technologies and materials - High performance interconnect materials - Silicon based multilayer devices - Novel ion implantation and thermal processing - Advanced deposition and etching techniques - Silicon integrated sensors 3.2. Basic Research Priority Themes - Alternative advanced semiconductor materials, devices - Multilayered materials for silicon-compatible optoelectro- - Nanoelectronics including organic structures, polymers - Novel concepts and new materials for optical devices/all- - High-temperature superconductivity related to low- and process steps nics and crystals optical computing current applications 41 8 0 VCH Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. W-6940 Weinheim. 1991 0935-9648/9!/0909-0418 $3.50+ .25/0 Adv. Mater. 3 (1991) No. 9 Essay ADVANCED MATERIALS 3.3. Topics of the ABHS-P Work Programme - Large Area LCD and Related Developments: New materials such as glass, other substrates, spacers, opti- cal components such as polarizers, specific interconnection and high-transparency conductive materials, electro-optical materials, aligning layers, and related items. One should take into account that materials aspects are often present in projects in other areas, i.e. one partner in a consortium can focus on materials research while the others concentrate on equipment, device or process development. Thus, a researcher interested in advanced materials is not limited to projects in the topics listed above. A study of the current work programme is suggested.[] 4. Conditions of 1991 Call 4.1. Microelectronics In the area of Microelectronics, the call invites proposals for two types of projects. Type A projects : these projects are individually described with their specified intermediate and long-term objectives. They usually require significant resources, both human and financial, and considerable infrastructure and management. Type B projects: the projects are described by R & D topics. They usually require smaller resources than Type A projects. The list for R & D topics given for Type B projects in the Background Materials to the 1991 ESPRIT Work programme is not exhaustive. 4.2. Basic Research In the area of Basic Research, only priority themes are given. Here, a call for projects, working groups, and net- works of excellence is issued. Research Project: proposals for research projects will be for a duration of up to five years. Working Group: proposals for working groups will be for a duration of up to three years. Working Groups are concer- ted actions for which travelling and workshop funds will be provided to improve the systematic exchange of information between different research communities and the forging of links between them, e.g. a definition phase of a future joint project could be funded. Network of Excellence: proposals for networks of excel- lence will be for a duration of up to five years. A network of excellence is a group of research teams with common long- term technological goals who closely coordinate their rese- arch as well as their training policies.r6] Each research team has extensive expertise in the research field of its particular network. Typically, the members, or nodes, of a network define a strategy for the achievement of its long-term techno- logical goals and devise a frame of reference in which fit the projects of the different members of the network. Members freely exchange information, and jointly orga- nize training and education. The close linkage between the nodes of the network means that access to any node gives access to the resources of the whole network. This policy greatly reduces the duplication of research in Europe, and promotes true innovation. Furthermore, networks facilitate interaction with industry, by virtue of the fact that nodes are closely connected. In the ESPRIT programme, a consortium must have at least two industrial partners from two different EC member states in order to qualify for funding. In Basic Research, however, two institutions (research centres or universities) from two member states are sufficient to be eligible for parti- cipation in the programme. As stated in the Introduction, the proposals for this ESPRIT call are due on October 14, 1991. ESPRIT projects are the subject of shared-cost projects. The participants are expected to bear a substantial propor- tion of the costs, 50% of which will normally be borne by the Community. In the case of research institutes and universi- ties, the Community may bear up to 100 % of the additional expenditure involved.[51 5. Conclusion Researchers specializing in advanced materials are invited by the CEC to apply now for ESPRIT funding. Participation in this programme promotes cooperation between scientists and industries, including small and medium enterprises, in EC member states. Moreover, ESPRIT provides funds for high-quality, state-of-the-art research. These activities help ESPRIT meet its aims of improving the performance of the information technology industry in the world market, and providing advanced IT-based solutions for use by industry and services.[51 [l] Commission of the European Communities, Of5 J. Europ. Communities, [2] Commission of the European Communities, ibid., July 1991. [3] Commission of the European Communities: High-Temperature Supercon- ductivity-Research and Development Opportunities in the European Econo- mic Community, Brussels, October 1990. [4] Commission of the European Communities, ESPRIT Information Desk, BREY 10/178,200 Rue de la Loi, B-I049 Brussels, Phone: + 3222351 603, Fax: + 3222353821. [S] Commission of the European Communities: Background Material to the f991 ESPRIT Work Programme, Brussels, June 12, 1991. [6] G. Metakides, ESPRIT Basic Research and Networks of Excellence, Com- mission of the European Communities, DGXIII Magazine, Vol. 2. Brussels, June 21, 1991. Adv. Muter. 3 (1991) No. 9 0 VCH Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, W-6940 Weinheim, 1991 0935-9648/9i/0909-04f9 $3 .50+ .2S /O 41 9


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