NARCISO “NAtuRal instability of semiConductors thIn SOlid films for sensing and photonic applications”is an interdisciplinary project merging physics, chemistry, material science, fluid dynamics, and photonics with a high potential for applications and industrial scale-up of the relevant results. We propose to exploit the natural instability of thin solid films (solid state dewetting of silicon and germanium, SSD) to form complex patterns and nano-architectures (e.g. monocrystalline atomically-smooth structures, disordered hyperuniform metamaterials) that cannot be implemented with conventional methods. These patters will be used as: i) epitaxial platforms for the growth of light-emitting III-V compounds; ii) hard-masters for nano-imprint lithography of metal oxides (e.g. TiO) deposited via sol-gel dip-coating (soft-NIL) and printed on arbitrary substrates, with tunable chemical and physical properties (e.g. composition, porosity, wettability). Methods and structures will be optimized towards their exploitation in two main domains of application: 1) photonic devices (e.g. anti-reflection coatings, colour-filters, random lasers, quantum emitters) and 2) micro-fluidic devices for bio/chemical sensing and water filtering. NARCISO holds the state-of-the-art in SSD and soft-NIL and is already at work in their theoretical comprehension their experimental implementation and practical exploitation. Now NARCISO will combine these techniques bringing them to the leading-edge of micro-and nanostructuring over ultra-large scales and with methods compatible with an industrial scale-up. The presence of the non-academic member Obducat Technologies is a strategic asset of the consortium as it is a major international actor in the nano-imprint lithography domain. It will provide the standard and needs for a realistic formulation of the relevant experimental methods and will demonstrate their implementation in a high-throughput industrial chain of production.
Free keywords: patterning, solid state dewetting, SiGe, sol-gel dip-coating, nano-imprint lithography, metal oxides, III-V on IV-IV, metasurfaces, photonics,microfluidic.