Research programs in oxides at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) span a wide range of applications, including as dielectrics, semiconductors, thermoelectrics and memristive devices. Many of these research activities are central to interdisciplinary programs and centers and all support graduate student education and training. These programs require oxide thin films with low defect densities, high purity, compatibility with active electronic device structures, low interface trap states and near-monolayer control over layer thicknesses. To address these needs, we propose to acquire a versatile, state-of-the-art oxide molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system that will significantly expand capabilities for the synthesis of highly-perfect oxide thin films and structures, as needed to solve key problems in the development of new devices with oxides and in the materials physics of oxide structures. The project will contribute to advancing oxide MBE through the development of approaches to address issues such as stoichiometry control and poor volatility of constituents. In keeping with the tradition of UCSB's MBE Laboratory, the proposed oxide MBE system is designed to facilitate compatibility and accessibility and will be operated as a shared facility, impacting the training of a large number of students in interdisciplinary research programs at UCSB and at collaborating institutions. Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars are the primary users and oxide MBE will be the central focus of many Ph.D. dissertations. Two development engineers provide hands-on training in MBE while formal training is provided by a graduate course and weekly MBE seminars. The oxide MBE system will significantly expand research internship opportunities offered through education programs that target undergraduate and high-school students from underrepresented minority groups.

Nontechnical Abstract

Research programs in oxide materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) span a wide range of applications, such as new electronic devices and energy conversion. Many of these research activities are central to interdisciplinary programs and centers and all support graduate student education and training. These programs require the deposition of thin film oxides with exceptionally low defect densities and high purity, comparable to what is now standard for conventional semiconductor materials. To address these needs, we propose to acquire a versatile, state-of-the-art molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system for the deposition of thin film oxides. In keeping with the tradition of UCSB's MBE Laboratory, the proposed oxide MBE system will be operated as a shared facility, impacting the education and training of a large number of students in a wide range of interdisciplinary research programs at UCSB and at collaborating institutions. Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars are the primary users. Two development engineers provide hands-on training in MBE while formal training is provided by a graduate course and weekly MBE seminars. The oxide MBE system will significantly expand research internship opportunities offered through education programs that target undergraduate and high-school students from underrepresented minority groups.

Project Report

The deposition of thin film oxides with exceptionally low defect densities and high purity, as required for electronic devices and the study of the physics of oxide structures, requires advanced deposition tools and the development of new deposition methods. This project supported the acquisition of a state-of the-art molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system for the deposition of thin film oxides. The new oxide MBE system was installed in the University of California Santa Barbara's MBE Laboratory. The MBE laboratory is operated as a shared facility. Graduate students are the primary hands-on users of the system. The MBE system has significantly expanded the training opportunities in advanced thin film deposition techniques and the characterization of oxide structures. Formal training in MBE is provided by a graduate course and weekly MBE seminars that are presented by students and postdocs. The system is fully operational and highly productive. The oxide structures grown with the system impact a wide range of research programs in different disciplines, such as materials science, electrical engineering, and physics, at UCSB and at collaborating institutions. Many of the structures that were grown with the new system are novel, and/or exhibit much improved materials properties. For example, the oxide structures grown with the new system were used to fabricate transistors that controlled unprecedented large charge carrier densities. The materials grown in the oxide MBE system allowed for new insights into magnetism at oxide interfaces, and for the synthesis of advanced dielectrics that exceed the performance of dielectrics grown by other deposition methods.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
Type
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
1126455
Program Officer
Charles E. Bouldin
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2011-10-01
Budget End
2014-09-30
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$563,096
Indirect Cost
Name
University of California Santa Barbara
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Santa Barbara
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
93106