Research Team / Research Group Name (if any)
Physics of Electronic Nanomaterials
Brief description of the Research Team / Research Group / Department
The Physics of Electronic Materials Group (FINE Group) is a consolidated research team composed by 9 researchers as staff members and 5 PhD students, which has been working steadily on the study of optical and electronic properties of semiconductors by means of electron microscopy techniques since more than 25 years. The group conducts research on two major lines:
- Semiconductor nanostructures: physical properties and applications.
- Materials for circular and greener economy.
We have been involved in several international projects, such as a Marie Curie Training Site and TPVCell European Training Network (ETN); Bilateral actions with Germany, Portugal, Italy and France.
We are currently working on a H2020 European project, devoted to batteries, a national project related to functional wide band gap nano-oxides, and an AFOSR project on gallium oxide.
The FINE Group manages its own facilities at the UCM premises to carry out experimental research on an independent basis. The main equipment consists of four scanning electron microscopes (SEM) with advanced techniques as CL, EBSD, EDS to study structural and optical properties. An optical confocal-Raman microscope and an AFM complete the battery of equipment for materials characterization. His infrastructure enables a quite full material science research.
Research lines / projects proposed
The scope of the activity research of FINE team is the study of semiconductor and electronic nanostructures with the aim to investigate their structure, morphology and physical properties. We had developed a synthesis route that enables us to get reproducible oxide nanomaterials (SnO2, GeO2, TiO2, Ga2O3, ZnO ") with several morphologies (nanowires, nanotubes, nanorods, hierarchical structures, plates") based on a thermal evaporation method. In addition, a full characterization of the obtained nanomaterials is carried out within the group. We study of the optical and electronic local properties of the obtained nanostructures with high spatial resolution with the aid of, but not only, electron microscopy related techniques. Some of the issues we address are related to the study of growth mechanisms, dopant incorporation, energy levels, electronic recombination, crystal defects, and surface effects", among others. These are critical issues when these materials enter in practical applications.<br />The current project, entitled "Novel paradigms on functional wide band gap nano-oxides. In situ-characterization and correlative microscopy", aims to optimize the optical and electrical properties of novel oxides based nanostructures to be implemented in devices with the aid of correlative microscopy techniques. We tune the physical properties through several ways: microstructure (crystalline phase and defects); doping (optical active impurities, carrier concentration, resistivity control); morphology (architecture, branched structures, periodic structures"); and dimensionality (hybrid structures with nanoparticles/nanowires, nanowires/ultrathin films) of the oxide based nanostructures.