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,

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