This project is aimed at developing photolithographic capabilities at the Institute of Physics in Zagreb for fabrication of electronic devices based on graphene and other novel materials, envisioned to replace silicon in future electronics.
As the conventional electronics is approaching its limits in achieving ever smaller scale and less power-consumption, the prospect of significant advances is now associated with spintronics, i. e. electronics that manipulates both charge and spin degrees of freedom. Recently, two new materials have emerged as promising candidates for spintronics: a) graphene and b) topological insulators. The primary goal of the proposed project is to adapt the existing technologies of synthesis of graphene layers and/or layers of topological insulators and to fabricate transport devices and other heterostructures based on such layers. Further, transport and spectral properties of these devices and their response to various magnetic and non-magnetic adsorbates/substrates will be studied in magnetic field in a search for an optimal electronic device.
A necessary prerequisite for fabrication of micro- and nano-scale devices is implementation of lithographic techniques, a technology that is well-developed and regularly used at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Researchers at the Institute of Physics have strong expertise in surface science and transport measurements but no necessary knowledge and infrastructure in fabrication of micro- and nano-scale devices. This expertise is missing in whole Croatia. Within the proposed project, we will transfer the technology and the expertise and develop the photolithographic capabilities at the Institute of Physics that will be used for fabrication of graphene- and topological insulators-based devices. New methods of transport properties measurements in ultra-high vacuum will also be developed that will allow studies of intrinsic properties of extremely clean devices. The transfer of technology of photolithography will also allow scientists at the Institute of physics and Croatia to use this indispensible method to study physical properties of other materials of miniature size (e.g. some biophysics related systems). This will open new frontiers of fundamental and applied research in Croatia and could become a foundation for broader scientific collaborations and connections with industry.
Figure - Scheme of the five main components of this project.