Objectives

 

  • To kick-off the technology of full-oxide nanomechanics by studying the feasibility, advantages and limits of a new class of NEMS devices based on integrated multifunctional oxide thin film structures. Full-oxides NEMS technology has tantalizing promises due to their strong coupling between electronic, mechanical, magnetic and optical degrees of freedom. New applications arise that reach far beyond the state-of-the-art and are impossible to achieve using silicon-based devices.
    Full-oxides NEMS technology will show a rich spectrum of physical properties such as magnetoelectricity, electro-optical effects, multiferroicity, superconductivity. Devices based on this technology will be able to respond to a wide range of external stimuli. Today’s Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) and NEMS mainly rely on silicon-related processes and technology, but future M/NEMS will need to integrate new functionalities far beyond the capabilities of silicon technology. Full-oxides NEMS technology has tantalizing promises due to their strong coupling between electronic, mechanical, magnetic and optical degrees of freedom. New applications arise that reach far beyond the state-of-the-art and are impossible to achieve using silicon-based devices. Most oxides share compatible structures so that complex epitaxial heterostructures or interfaces with novel or engineered physical properties (strain, doping,..) can be realized by exploiting atomic level control of the growth and epitaxy. Fabrication of full-oxide NEMS is entirely based on monolithic “single-crystal” heterostructures, where the local cationic environment determines the physical properties and the mechanical behaviour is given by the entire structural element. The high structural quality given by epitaxial growth will take the best material’s performances. Because of recent advances in atomic level control of oxide growth, this is the right time to drive the full-oxide NEMS science into a plausible new technological line.  

  • To assess the potential of a full-oxides NEMS sensor in detecting very tiny magnetic fields (sensitivity better than 10 fT/sqrt(Hz), bandwidth DC-1 MHz), and in quickly recovering in a strong applied field (» 1 T). Such sensor would be the suitable magnetic field NEMS sensor in a Magnetoencephalography (MEG) system for the detection of the magnetic fields of the human brain, also in the presence of relatively strong applied fields as in Very-Low-Field (VLF)/ Ultra-Low-Field (ULF)-Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

  • To develop strategies for the integration of such devices into small-scale prototypes of MEG and MEG/MRI/TMS setups, with the perspective of novel, multimodal, large scale commercial instruments.
EU This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N.828784.
© 2019 Cnr