Graphene-metal interfaces: Equilibrium geometries of C54H18 and graphene adsorbed on Au(111) (upper) and Cu(111) (lower). (Courtesy to Paulo V. C. Medeiros, G. K. Gueorguiev, and S. Stafström) "CARBON 81 (2015) 620 – 628"The functional materials group investigates the properties of thin films both from a fundamental research point of view as well as from applications. Our materials palette consists of ceramic materials such as silicon nitride and alloys thereof, hydrides, refractory boride, carbide and nitride coatings and solid fullerene-like compounds. For thin film synthesis, we apply Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) and the techniques: High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS), Mid Frequency Magnetron Sputtering (MFMS), direct current magnetron sputtering (DCMS). We focus on reactive sputtering processes, using innovative precursors from Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and designed process conditions to tailor our thin film materials.
SiNx deposited with intermittent bias
Our theoretical tools include ab-initio methods for introducing families of inherently nanostructured compounds together with quantitative recipes for how to approach their synthesis. An original flexible modelling concept - the Synthetic Growth Concept (SGC) is employed to predict the structure formation and growth evolution of wide variety of nanostructured materials. The SGC is the theoretical tool behind establishing the Fullerene-like (FL) compounds as an entirely new class of materials. Method development is continuously conducted, e.g., advancements at DFT level, including Time-dependent DFT. Such novel theoretical approaches are currently successfully applied for assessing the synthesis feasibility and evaluating the properties of low-dimensional and layered materials and interfaces based upon III-Nitrides, transition metal silicides and graphene among others.
ZrB2 deposited by DCMS.
SixOyNz deposited by HiPIMS.