Nanoscale Advanced Materials Engineering

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Abstract

Development of materials has underpinned human and societal development for millennia, and such development has accelerated as time has passed. From the discovery of bronze through to wrought iron and then steel and polymers the visible world around has been shaped and built, relying on the intrinsic properties of these materials. In the 20th century a new materials revolution took place leading to the development of materials that are designed for their electronic (e.g. silicon), optical (e.g. glass fibres) or magnetic (e.g. recording media) properties. These materials changed the way we interact with the world and each other through the development of microelectronics (computers), the world wide web (optical fibre communications) and associated technologies.

Now, two decades into the 21st century, we need to add more functionality into materials at ever smaller length-scales in order to develop ever more capable technologies with increased energy efficiency and at an acceptable manufacturing cost. In pursuing this ambition, we now find ourselves at the limit of current materials-processing technologies with an often complex interdependence of materials properties (e.g. thermal and electronic). As we approach length scales below 100s of nanometres, we have to harness quantum effects to address the need for devices with a step-change in performance and energy-efficiency, and ultimately for some cases the fundamental limitations of quantum mechanics.

In this programme grant we will develop a new approach to delivering material functionalisation based on Nanoscale Advanced Materials Engineering (NAME). This approach will enable the modification of materials through the addition (doping) of single atoms through to many trillions with extreme accuracy (~20 nanometres, less than 1000th the thickness of a human hair). This will allow us to functionalise specifically a material in a highly localised location leaving the remaining material available for modification. For the first time this will offer a new approach to addressing the limitations faced by existing approaches in technology development at these small length scales. We will be able to change independently a material's electronic and thermal properties on the nanoscale, and use the precise doping to deliver enhanced optical functionality in engineered materials. Ambitiously, we aim to use NAME to control material properties which have to date proven difficult to exploit fully (e.g. quantum mechanical spin), and to control states of systems predicted but not yet directly experimentally observed or controlled (e.g. topological surface states). Ultimately, we may provide a viable route to the development of quantum bits (qubits) in materials which are a pre-requisite for the realisation of a quantum computer. Such a technology, albeit long term, is predicted to be the next great technological revolution

NAME is a collaborative programme between internationally leading UK researchers from the Universities of Manchester, Leeds and Imperial College London, who together lead the Henry Royce Institute research theme identified as 'Atoms to Devices'. Together they have already established the required substantial infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities through investment from Royce, the EPSRC and each University partner. The programme grant will provide the resource to assemble the wider team required to deliver the NAME vision, including UK academics, research fellows, and postdoctoral researchers, supported by PhD students funded by the Universities. The programme grant also has significant support from wider academia and industry based both within the UK and internationally.

Planned Impact

Who might benefit from this research?
NAME focuses on 4 areas of science and engineering: the development of new nanoscale instrumentation; its use to develop new photonic devices; thermal management to reduce energy consumption; and manipulation of defects to develop quantum devices (e.g. low noise amplification and qubits). The economic and societal beneficiaries of the research are in the area of photonics, energy and quantum. Each of these sectors have wide economic potential with a broad range of beneficiaries. The Photonics market is projected to grow to $780.4BN by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.0 % (www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/photonic.asp), but investment in the UK has weakened and the CAGR in the UK is around 2.3% (www.photonics21.org/ppp-services/photonics-downloads.php). Reducing energy demand by improved efficiencies/thermal management will contribute to a current market of $310BN pa (www.energylivenews.com/2014/10/08/global-energy-efficiency-market-worth-310bn-a-year/), whilst the low-noise amplifier market, where we expect maser amplification to play a significant role, is estimated to see CAGR of 11% to reach a total market size of $2.965BN by 2023 (www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180802005594/en/Global-Low-Noise-Amplifier-Market-Analysis-Forecasts-2018-2023).

A 2018 IoP report states 'the UK needs to invest more in bringing novel technology to market if it is to compete globally in the future' (/www.iop.org/publications/iop/2018/file_71498.pdf). In the same report it is noted that increasing precision manufacturing is seen as a key enabler for increased productivity. Precision manufacturing is exactly what NAME will achieve. Our project partners have interests spanning materials and device development, characterisation and lithographic techniques as well as end users of the devices. We expect a significant increase in collaborators as the PG progresses beyond our strongly supportive initial team.

How might they benefit from this research?
In preparation for this PG we have had extensive discussions with industrial partners who seek realistic applications of the science and technology proposed. Our partners have an interest in the area of quantum technologies and in methods to reduce energy demand in ICT devices, and these are longer term goals. However, we have been set specific goals too. We have industrial input regarding phase noise at specific carrier offsets in measurement systems for communications at rf/microwave frequencies and specific targets for noise in low noise amplifiers: to exceed the performance of cryogenic HEMTs. The primary industrial application for silicon photonics is in optical switching for telecomms and computing; with the promise of faster, lower energy-per-bit data transmission. The rapidly expanding energy demand, driven by the colossal growth in internet traffic is bringing this into sharp focus. (https://physicsworld.com/a/the-promise-of-silicon-photonics/). The research in NAME also has application in the healthcare sector, for example in "...DNA sequencing, miniaturized diagnostic testing using disposable photonic chips, accurate body monitoring sensors, brain stimulation probes...",
(https://www.imec-int.com/en/articles/chip-technology-and-photonics-enable-smaller-faster-and-cheaper-medical-devices). Our research objectives comprise 16 ambitious targets, providing us with a set of SMART goals, achievable as research outcomes for which down-selection will lead to proof of principle devices within 5 years.

We also expect impact to arise from attraction of investment from both UK and global firms and through the development of new processes through the science developed. The technology as noted above has broad economic and societal benefit through applications in photonics, energy and quantum. We will ensure that the NAME team including PhD students and PDRAs work closely with industrial partners to enable technology development.
 
Description Invitation to UKRI Strategy Launch - Stakeholder
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Royce/IOP "Materials for the Energy Transition" 2020 Roadmapping Activity
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact In response to the Committee on Climate Change's 2019 "Net Zero" Report, the Henry Royce Institute Partners at the Universities of Cambridge, Imperial, Leeds and Manchester, in collaboration with the Institute of Physics, engaged with over 220 participants from academic and industrial materials research communities to explore solutions to the grand challenge of "Materials for the Energy Transition." Through roadmapping workshops and associated community-led activities, energy technologies were identified where materials research can make a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The following four areas were identified where materials science is critical to enabling a step-change in greenhouse gas reduction: (1) Materials for photovoltaic systems, (2) Materials for low-carbon methods of hydrogen generation, (3) Materials for decarbonisation of heating and cooling (split into thermoelectric and caloric energy conversion materials) and (4) Materials for low-loss electronics. Outcomes of these roadmapping exercises were (1) an executive summary report highlighting the main findings of the four roadmapping activities, and (2) five materials development roadmaps towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 were published in September 2020. All documents were made publicly available free of charge for research communities, the public, funding bodies, government, policy-makers and industry leaders. Influence: (1) Roadmaps have been cited in academic journals, influencing research communities towards mission-driven activities (2) roadmaps have begun to influence position papers and policy documents for organisations to inform government, (3) roadmaps have influenced funding bodies to shape future funding opportunities in the "Materials for the Energy Transition" research space (4) EPSRC have requested Royce to facilitate creation of further roadmapping activities towards zero-carbon goals and sustainable UK manufacturing, beginning in 2021.
URL https://www.royce.ac.uk/materials-for-the-energy-transition/
 
Description Atomic qubits by ion implantation: towards very large-scale quantum devices
Amount £108,040 (GBP)
Funding ID RSWVF\211016 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2021 
End 07/2023
 
Description EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing
Amount £6,589,026 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S024441/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2019 
End 12/2027
 
Description Synthesis of enriched silicon for long-lived donor quantum states
Amount $513,395 (AUD)
Funding ID ARC DP220103467 
Organisation Australian Research Council 
Sector Public
Country Australia
Start 01/2022 
End 12/2024
 
Description University of Manchester and University of Melbourne Joint PhD Studentship
Amount £140,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Manchester 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2021 
End 03/2025
 
Description UoM A*Star Singapore Joint PhD studentship
Amount £140,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Manchester 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2022 
End 04/2027
 
Description UoM Internal Strategic Equipment Call
Amount £160,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Manchester 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2022 
End 02/2022
 
Description UoM PhD Studentship
Amount £130,400 (GBP)
Organisation University of Manchester 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2022 
End 04/2026
 
Description ANU Collaboration (since 2019) 
Organisation Australian National University (ANU)
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We contribute by providing optoelectronic characterisation of semiconductor nanostructures via terahertz spectroscopy and microscopy. We also design terahertz devices based on semiconductor nanowires (single-nanowire emitters).
Collaborator Contribution The group at ANU are experts in nanowire growth and provide nanowires samples to these research programmes.
Impact -Test nanowire samples for SNOM measurements.
Start Year 2019
 
Description DJ Melbourne 
Organisation University of Melbourne
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration on research relating to impurity ions in solid-state materials for quantum technologies. Research exchange visits and access to facilities.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on research relating to impurity ions in solid-state materials for quantum technologies. Research exchange visits and access to facilities.
Impact Collaborative research proposals developed for funding. Dual-award University of Manchester and University of Melbourne PhD studentship secured. Royal Society Wolfson International Fellowship secured for Prof. Jamieson to spend extended visits to the UK in 2022/23.
Start Year 2019
 
Description EPFL Collaboration (since 2019) 
Organisation Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have provided access to our terahertz characterisation facility; conducted terahertz characterisation of thin film samples for single photon avalanche diodes.
Collaborator Contribution The partners have provided thin film samples for measurement, they are growth experts and have optimised growth parameters for application in single photon avalanche diodes. They have also provided complimentary optoelectronic characterisation (PL)
Impact This collaboration has led to a publication in Materials Advances (DOI: 10.1039/d1ma00922b) and presentation at international conference. The project is ongoing and forms part of a PhD studentship project.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Institute of Physics 
Organisation Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution roadmapping
Collaborator Contribution roadmaps Materials for Photovoltaic Systems Materials for Low-Carbon Production of Hydrogen and Related Energy Carriers and Chemical Feedstocks Thermoelectric Energy Conversion Materials Caloric Energy Conversion Materials Materials for Low Loss Electronics
Impact Materials for Photovoltaic Systems Materials for Low-Carbon Production of Hydrogen and Related Energy Carriers and Chemical Feedstocks Thermoelectric Energy Conversion Materials Caloric Energy Conversion Materials Materials for Low Loss Electronics
Start Year 2019
 
Description Ionoptika (P-NAME) 
Organisation Ionoptika
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Development of enhanced tool for ion-doping and funding through RCUK and Institutional sources. Development of new alloy materials and sources for use in doping technologies.
Collaborator Contribution Commercialisation of enhanced tool for ion-doping and new ion sources.
Impact Commercial tool now developed (Q-One) by UK SME. New software for ion control developed. New ion sources developed. Interdisciplinary: metallurgy, physics, engineering
Start Year 2017
 
Description Leeds Collaboration 
Organisation University of Leeds
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution - Expertise in development of scattering-type near-field microscopy in the terahertz range (THz-SNOM) and analysis and interpretation of SNOM results. - Characterisation of topological materials using broadband room-temperature and cryogenic THz-SNOM systems. - Access to ultrafast laser facility and CUSTOM facility (EP/T01914X/1)
Collaborator Contribution - Provision of topological insulator thin films for characterisation - Expertise in THz characterisation and topological behaviour - Provision of designer THz-QCLs for use with SNOM - Access to QCL-based THz SNOM and ultrafast THz characterisation facilities
Impact - Collaboration on work packages in EPSRC Programme Grant (EP/V001914/1). - Submission of invited contribution on THz near-field imaging for publication '2023 Terahertz Science and Technology Roadmap' in Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics.
Start Year 2019
 
Description NPL Collaboration 
Organisation National Physical Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution - Expertise in development of THz scattering near-field optical microscopy (THz-SNOM) systems, analysis and interpretation of results - Contribution to development of metrology for SNOM techniques - Access to ultrafast laser facility in Photon Science Institute at University of Manchester - Access to CUSTOM facility (EP/T01914X/1) - room-temperature and cryogenic SNOM systems with preliminary measurements on topological insulator nanowires
Collaborator Contribution - Access to microscopy systems within NPL, including room-temperature SNOM systems with variety of sources (QCL and broadband), Kerr microscopy and TERS - Expertise in metrology of microscopy techniques - Expertise topological systems, graphene and 2D materials
Impact - Two joint PhD studentships between NPL, UCL and Manchester, funded through EPSRC-funded CDT working on terahertz microscopy of low-dimensional materials: the first started in October 2021 and is co-supervised by Dr Olga Kazakova; the 2nd starts in October 2022 and is co-supervised by Dr Mira Naftaly.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Oxford Collaboration (Topological Insulator Materials and Terahertz Characterisation) 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have characterised the provided materials using ultrafast terahertz spectroscopy and microscopy, providing access to ultrafast laser facilities and the recently-funded CUSTOM facility (EP/T01914X/1) within the Photon Science Institute at University of Manchester to conduct these measurements.
Collaborator Contribution One research group in Oxford (Prof Thorsten Hesjedal) have provided topological insulator and Dirac semi-metal nanowire samples for optoelectronic characterisation. Another research group (Prof. Michael Johnston) have provided access to terahertz characterisation facilities and expertise in terahertz spectroscopy.
Impact - Oral presentation at IRMMW-THz 2020 on experimental results on these materials (DOI: 10.1109/IRMMW-THz46771.2020.9370806) - Manuscript submission to Nature Communications
Start Year 2019
 
Description Toronto Collaboration 
Organisation University of Toronto
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have provided access to CUSTOM facility for preliminary terahertz nanoscale characterisation of nanoparticle metamaterial structures. We have also provide access to other optoelectronic characterisation techniques, including photoluminescence, Raman and FTIR spectroscopy.
Collaborator Contribution The group in Toronto (Prof. Kherani) have provided nanoparticle metamaterials structures for characterisation. They also form part of a feedback loop between sample growth, nanoscale doping and nanoscale characterisation.
Impact - MITACS exchange grant to support a researcher from Toronto visiting Manchester (CUSTOM facility) to conduct terahertz characterisation of nanoparticle samples. - Pump-prime funded access to CUSTOM for initial measurements on nanoparticle samples.
Start Year 2019
 
Description University of Cambridge 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Undertook roadmapping "Materials for the Energy Transition
Collaborator Contribution Collaborations between Manchester, Imperial, Leeds, Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing and Institute of Physics to produce 5 roadmaps Materials for Photovoltaic Systems Materials for Low-Carbon Production of Hydrogen and Related Energy Carriers and Chemical Feedstocks Thermoelectric Energy Conversion Materials Caloric Energy Conversion Materials Materials for Low Loss Electronics
Impact 5 roadmaps Materials for Photovoltaic Systems Materials for Low-Carbon Production of Hydrogen and Related Energy Carriers and Chemical Feedstocks Thermoelectric Energy Conversion Materials Caloric Energy Conversion Materials Materials for Low Loss Electronics
Start Year 2019
 
Description University of Manchester 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration on a Programme Grant
Collaborator Contribution Scientific research
Impact No outputs yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Warwick Collaboration 
Organisation University of Warwick
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The terahertz group in Warwick have provided pump-prime funded access to their ultrafast spectroscopy facility and expertise in terahertz and ultrafast optoelectronic characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution We are providing access to the CUSTOM facility for proof-of-concept measurements and expertise in nanoscale terahertz and ultrafast optoelectronic characterisation.
Impact - Currently have 2 PhD students working together on GeSn project. - Publication generated from use of Warwick facility (DOI: 10.1039/D1MA00922B (Paper) Mater. Adv., 2022, 3, 1295-1303). - Members from Warwick have also joined annual meetings for UK Network on THz microscopy and quantum materials. - Worked on invited section on roadmap article together (J Lloyd-Hughes et al 2021 J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 33 353001).
Start Year 2020
 
Description collaboration with Leeds University 
Organisation University of Leeds
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration within Royce and a new Programme Grant
Collaborator Contribution Scientific research
Impact Multidisciplinary Physics, Materials, Chemistry, Electrical engineering
Start Year 2017
 
Description Annual topical meeting on terahertz microscopy and quantum materials 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Network meeting for UK researchers working on application on terahertz spectroscopy and microscopy on quantum materials. The main aim was to present current research in this field in the UK; share details of terahertz characterisation and material growth capability at each institution; to forge new collaborations and research activity within the network that could form the basis for future programme grants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020,2022
 
Description Deep dive presentation on silicon photonics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Deep dive themed presentation on silicon photonics at my institution, delivered as part of grant quarterly meeting with academics from UoM, Leeds and Imperial as well as PG students involved in the research area
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
 
Description Invited panelist for International Women's Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Invited to take part in a panel session on 'Building Confidence in Research' for International Women's Day. This was an opportunity to discuss research and inspire undergraduate and postgraduate students to pursue research and discuss ways of navigating academia and dealing with imposter syndrome.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Invited seminar on 'Revealing the optoelectronic properties of semiconductor nanostructures using terahertz spectroscopy and microscopy' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited seminar on 'Revealing the optoelectronic properties of semiconductor nanostructures using terahertz spectroscopy and microscopy' for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that advertised the CUSTOM facility and research into terahertz characterisation of nanomaterials. This talk led to discussions around collaboration and use of facility.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Invited seminar on 'Terahertz, Technology and Telecoil Loops' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Invited seminar celebrating Disability History Month discussing current research activity on terahertz characterisation of quantum materials and experiences as a disabled academic promoting accessibility in STEM.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Materials for the energy transition Policy workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A two hour workshop was held in collaboration with the energy futures lab at Imperial college London, to scope out policy suggestions to facilitate material science facilitation the energy transition. The workshop outputs are being written into a policy document which will be released in the summer of 2021
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description New Scientist Live 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interactive demonstrations presented to the general public at New Scientist Live event to explain current research activities. Demonstrations included: water droplet demonstration to explain pump-probe experiments, laser maze game to explain spectroscopy, interactive activity throwing toy balls at material, explaining ion implantation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Outreach to College A Level Students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 3 A level students and 1 teacher attended a presentation, experimental demonstrations, and discussion on the topics of university, physical processes pertaining to diamond fluorescence and microscopy, and future career options. There was much discussion about the demonstrated experiments and university life as an undergraduate, postgraduate and post-doctoral life. This lasted for ~2.5 hours. Atleast two of the students stated that they had not considered future research after a degree and would like to investigate that further.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Roadmap - Low loss Electronics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Roadmap for the energy transition - Low Loss Electronics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.royce.ac.uk/content/uploads/2020/10/M4ET-Low-Loss-Electronics-Roadmap.pdf
 
Description Roadmap Materials for the Energy Transition - Calorics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Roadmap and publication
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.royce.ac.uk/content/uploads/2020/10/M4ET-Caloric-Energy-Conversion-Materials-roadmap.pdf
 
Description Seminar session with Imperial college's centre for plastic electronics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Online seminar discussing the intersection between the Centre for Processible Electronics at imperial college and the Henry Royce Institute.
Speakers included; Professor James Durrant, FRS Professor of Photochemistry, Department of Chemistry. Dr Robert Hoye, Lecturer in the Department of Materials, and Dr Amy Nommeots-Nomm Research Development Manager for Department of Materials/Royce Institute
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020