NanoAccess makes it possible to produce, process and analyze innovative materials with nanometer accuracy, without releasing the necessary vacuum.
Conducting research on materials with atomic precision requires a very high vacuum. This is because any impurity or any reaction with air can cause the experiment to fail. NanoAccess offers the unique opportunity to make, manipulate and study innovative materials with nanometer accuracy using a single instrument, and without releasing the vacuum.
Research at the nanoscale becomes much more efficient and accurate with this approach. What's more, the facility offers further possibilities for producing all kinds of new structures. Energy-efficient electronics and memory storage units, sensors for smart cars, microchips based on light signals and new materials for, say, energy storage and solar cells are all closer to being developed thanks to research conducted using NanoAccess.
NanoAccess consists of four clusters of vacuum chambers, each with its own function and state-of-the-art equipment. The samples move from one vacuum chamber to the next through connecting tubes.
In the first cluster, NanoFilm, researchers can fabricate thin material films, atomic layer by atomic layer. In NanoFab focused ion beams etch tiny structures in the thin film surfaces. With NanoProbe, scientists use various analysis techniques to create highly detailed images of the material surfaces. The Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) works with not one, as is customary, but with four needles that probe the surface. This makes it possible to measure not only the structure, but also the conductivity and magnetic properties of the nanometer-scale samples. This combination of functions is unique in the Netherlands.
The fourth cluster, NanoUser, enables equipment with other functions to be connected temporarily to the entire arrangement. This gives external parties the exciting opportunity to add to NanoAccess any fabrication or analysis method they require, thereby further enriching the many research possibilities within NanoAccess.
TU/e's own researchers collaborate frequently in NanoAccess with partners such as DIFFER, Holst and NXP. The facility is also available for external research. Interested parties should contact Reinoud Lavrijsen.