The CREST established strong experimental and theoretical research programs in nuclear physics, computational physics, nanotechnology, semiconductors physics, and microwave physics. In addition to this productive research we formed a unique research laboratory for formation of nanostructures and material characterization. Strong research and research infrastructure was the base for establishment of the graduate program that started last year.
The main new experimental setups in the laboratory for nanomaterial formation are pulsed electron and pulsed laser beams. The laboratory is also enhanced by state of the art equipment for material characterization, which includes Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy (DLTS), Raman spectroscopy, Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) techniques, Thermally Stimulated Current (TSC), Photoluminescence, nonlinear optical spectroscopy, and Hall effect techniques.
The DLTS and Hall Effect experimental systems are updated by a new cryogenic system. The Hall Effect system allows us to go to the He temperature which significantly expands the experimental range. The spectroscopy laboratory is updated by a new 3 m spectrometer with CCD camera unit. Purchased is also a miniature photoluminescence unit.
Experimental capabilities related to the research project #1 on production and characterization of nanoscale materials and devices were significantly improved during this period. The pulsed laser deposition (PLD) facilities were upgraded by the addition of ultrafast pulse shaping to increase nanoparticle production efficiency, and by the installation of an optical emission spectroscopy (OES) system to measure light emission from the plume of ablated material. The OES system provides in situ, real time data on nanoparticle formation, enabling rapid optimization of experimental parameters. A nanowire fabrication system that combines chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and PLD capabilities has been designed and is now undergoing initial testing. Nanowire growth in this system, which is based on a three zone tube furnace, occurs through vapor – liquid – solid or vapor – solid – solid processes that involve exposure of nanoparticle seeded substrates to vapor generated by thermal evaporation, PLD or gas inputs. This combination of vapor generation methods allows the use of a wide range of nanowire and dopant materials. Finally, a thin film deposition and patterning facility has been developed, providing the ability to fabricate and test prototype device structures. The facility is based on a Suss MJB3 mask aligner, which is capable of producing patterns with submicron resolution, and also includes a spin coater that has also been used to produce nanosphere monolayers for lithorgraphic applications.
The nuclear laboratory is enhanced by a new solid state germanium detector and data acquisition units that are applied in the project #2 on the neutron deuteron breakup experiment. Our infrastructure is also enhanced for that project by development of the Monte Carlo simulation computer program needed for analyzing data for the neutron deuteron breakup experiment.
To enhance the seed project on the GHz material characterization our microwave laboratory is updated by new BWO oscillators.
The CREST computational seed project on metallic nanostructures is enhanced by purchase of new computers dedicated for that research.
The CREST seed project on mega mesh nuclear detector is enabled by design and production of mesh fabric material in collaboration with Textile Technology Center at Gaston College, NC and Jefferson National Laboratory.