The Challenge

There is a critical need to deliver advanced electronic, optical, magnetic and spintronic technologies which offer a step-change in performance in terms of both functionality and efficiency. Doing so would impact all aspects of modern life, from communication to healthcare and beyond.

To date, the almost universal approach has been to scale down the size of devices to increase functional density (Moore’s law). As we approach the nanoscale, quantum effects emerge and, more critically, the heat generated due to the inefficiency of devices fundamentally compromises current device performance. To address this, and utilise the presence of quantum effects as an advantage, we need to develop new technologies which will require new materials with highly tuned and controllable properties.

The research in the NAME Programme Grant will make major steps in addressing the following materials challenges:

Spintronic systems engineering Can we develop integrated systems incorporating spin injection, valves, repeaters and gain, extending spin systems from nanometre length scales to microns?

Phononic systems engineering – Can we deliver bespoke doping in periodic systems to yield super- efficient light-matter interactions and enable wave-engineering of phonons?

Topological insulator systems Can we develop systems in which topological states are defined, modi- fied and controlled in 2D or 3D interacting networks?

Engineering materials for quantum technologies Can we develop scalable arrays of impurity centres in systems engineered to ensure long quantum coherence times?

Our Approach

NAME focuses on four areas of materials science and engineering.

  • Capability development: Optimising and extending the capabilities of the Platform for Nanoscale Advanced Materials Engineering (P-NAME) for nanoscale doping.
  • Nanoscale photonics: Highly-targeted doping of photonic systems to provide new enhanced or modified optical electronic or magnetic functionality.
  • Engineering energy: Enabling the development of devices and technologies that have intrinsic low-power operation.
  • Materials for quantum technologies: Advancing the development of topological materials and defect/vacancy centres in solid state systems.

Augmenting P-NAME and capabilities in thin-film materials deposition will be applied to develop a new generation of photonic devices, energy efficient technologies and will allow for the manipulation of specific defects to develop quantum devices. 

Diagram showing links between work packages. Work Package 1 is underpinning capability and development, which links to work package 2 on nanoscale photonics, work package 3 on engineering energy and work package 4 on materials for quantum technologies. Work packages 2, 3 and 4 also link together and all feed into work package 5, which is impact and coordination.