The objective of this research is to materially strengthen the fabrication of micro/nanoscale functional devices for the multidisciplinary research and education within the areas of micro/nanoelectronics, bioengineering and physics. The approach is to acquire an electron beam evaporation system within the Shared-Access Facility at George Mason University (GMU) to deposit thin films and multilayers of metal, semiconductor and oxide materials with thickness at nanometer precision.
Intellectual merit: The requested system will enhance the capability of depositing thin film materials to form electrodes, insulator, semiconductor channels and nanostructures, allowing collaboration among university and local industry researchers for a wide variety of applications including nanoelectronics, energy and biomedical devices. The requested instrument will enable research into high-performance nanowire MOSFETs, biosensors, symbiotic surfaces, organic solar cells, topological insulator materials and nanoscale field effect diodes. The enabled research will deal with fundamental questions and issues in a wide range of disciplines in physics, electronics, biology and chemistry, and will ultimately facilitate cross pollination between these groups leading to new veins of research.
Broader impacts: The research enabled by the requested system will have significant impact in the development of future health technology, nanoelectronics and solar energy conversion devices. The requested instrument will be available to a large number of students, post-docs and faculty in GMU, other universities, national labs and industrial partners that involve a large proportion of underrepresented minorities and women. Hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment makes students and post-docs well-prepared to enter the workforce ready to engage in research, development and manufacturing.
The Electron Beam Evaporation System has been successfully installed in Engineering Building, Room 3502, 4400 University Dr., George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia 22030. The installation of Electron Beam Evaporation System includes the following steps: (1) Weight estimation for the microelectronics fabrication lab to hold the Electron Beam Evaporation System. This is for the safety consideration. (2) Installation of water circulation for the cooling system. The cooling system with water circulation is shown at the right side in Figure 1. The water cooling system is to cool down the evaporation chamber during the deposition. (3) Installation of electric power support. Since the Electron Beam Evaporation System demands high power support, we need to modify the power setup in the building to allow enough electric power for our system. The extra electric power support is shown in the left side in Figure 1. (4) Instrument assembly. This includes the water cooling system, the film deposition chamber and the deposition control system. The whole system is assembled and shown in the Figure 2. (5) Installing the water and electric power connection to the Electron Beam Evaporation System. The water circulation and electric support have been successfully installed and tested. (6) Running the Electron Beam Evaporation System. The system has been under normal operation.