MRI: DEVELOPMENT OF AN ULTRA-HIGH VACUUM CRYOGEN-FREE LOW TEMPERATURE PROXIMAL PROBE SYSTEM FOR THE EXPLORATION OF LOW DIMENSIONAL MATERIALS AND NANO-DEVICES

Project Details

Description

1337871 AndreiTechnical Abstract:Low dimensional materials, nanostructures and devices are the driving force behind recent technological and scientific advances. Quantum fluctuations associated with their reduced size lead to the emergence of novel physical and electronic properties. As nanostructures are being produced in ever growing variants with applications in fields as diverse as physics, biology, engineering and medicine it is crucial to develop instruments capable of characterizing their properties so as to fully exploit their potential. This award from the Major Research Instrumentation program to Rutgers University at New Brunswick supports the development of a versatile and unique proximal probe system (PPS) designed for in-situ nano-scale characterization of low dimensional systems and devices. The instrument is optimized for probing two-dimensional layers, correlated electron materials and nano-structures. It is designed to give access to multiple physical parameters at the nano-scale including electronic, magnetic and mechanical response, in tandem with global transport measurements. The flexible structure incorporating multi-functional characterization and sample conditioning modules will make it possible to smoothly interface with existing and future instruments. A UHV suitcase will allow transferring, under UHV conditions and without breaking vacuum, samples synthesized by the Rutgers cutting-edge MBE facility directly into the PPS for in-situ characterization. This will enable discovery of novel correlated electron materials, topological phases and new electronic applications. The instrument integrates state-of-the-art commercial components with new concepts for sample loading and vibration isolation to produce a compact and versatile scanning probe system. The innovative design with small footprint internal isolator based on an electrostatic negative stiffness mechanism will provide unprecedented levels of vibration isolation. This will enable low temperature STM operation in a cryogen free environment not presently available in existing commercial systems. Non-Technical Abstract:This Major Research Instrumentation award supports Rutgers University New Brunswick with the development of an Ultra-high Vacuum Cryogen-free Low Temperature Proximal Probe System for the Exploration of Low Dimensional Materials and Nano-devices. Low dimensional materials, nanostructures and devices are the driving force behind recent technological and scientific advances. Their reduced size promotes the emergence of novel and unexpected physical and electronic properties. It is increasingly crucial to develop instruments capable of characterizing their properties so as to fully exploit their potential. The instrument will be a versatile and unique proximal probe system. The instrument combines a set of capabilities, currently not available in commercial systems, which will significantly expand the range of physical phenomena and materials that can be studied. The modular design and the ability to operate under conditions of ultrahigh vacuum, high magnetic fields and in a cryogen free low temperature environment are unique to this development. The instrument development will stimulate a broad range of activities impacting education, training, outreach and industrial collaborations. Its novel design concept allowing high quality imaging and spectroscopy without the investment in costly structural modifications required for external vibration isolation will bring these powerful techniques within the reach of researchers and students beyond the cadre of elite institutions. Students will be exposed to a wide range of scanning microscopy probes and imaging techniques. Partnership with Attocube, a leading developer of cryogen-free scanning microscopy probes, will help implement the novel design in future commercial instruments. The wide gamut of images acquired with this instrument which will be disseminated through open houses, high school visits and exhibits will help communicate the excitement and richness of the nano world to the general public.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/1/138/31/16

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))

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