A multidisciplinary program will be developed to understand the metal-dielectric interface and improve the quality of insulating materials for use in quantum information and microwave devices. The project will use in-situ epitaxial metal/dielectric structures that will enable the growth of well-controlled, clean interfaces with a reduced defect density to allow for a fundamental understanding of the interface. Central to the approach are new tools based on superconductivity capable of analyzing even minute loss mechanisms in metal-dielectric structures and advanced transmission electron microscopy techniques. The combination of these methods will allow the establishment of a direct correlation between device performance and atomic structure, which will point to the most efficient method for the optimization of materials, interfaces and fabrication methods
This program will impact electronics in a number of ways, enabling the development of devices that are more complex, faster, and quieter. Understanding the basic science of materials at the nanoscale will open up for invention entirely new classes of devices, an example of which is the construction of a quantum computer that would be vastly more powerful than present day computers.