The NanoEmbrace Project

One dimensional nanostructures (1DNS) of different semiconductor materials such as elemental semiconductors Si and Ge, III-V and II-VI compounds have recently gained much attention due to their unique physical properties and great potential in various applications

The potential applications of 1DNS encompass many fields and include:

  • ultra compact LEDs and lasers 
  • emission of single photons and entangled photon pairs
  • efficient solar cells
  • functional nanoprobes and nano sensors (e.g. for the sensing of proteins and other biological molecules and objects) 
  • nanoelectronic devices, e.g. field effect transistors and resonant tunnelling diodes

The NanoEmbrace Initial Training Network (ITN) is aimed at developing a pool of young researchers capable of solving the scientific tasks needed for the transition of 1DNS from the laboratory to industry. The network is developing scalable growth methods as well as exploring post-growth functionalisation of arrays of 1DNS. By engineering the properties we aim to achieve reliability, scalability and a low cost of production.

To deliver this, we are addressing the following key scientific and technological tasks:

  1. Controllable growth of 1DNS with predefined size (e.g. varying cross-section), shape (e.g. curved and bended) and direction of growth
  2. Controllable modification of the chemical composition of 1DNS along their axis and in axial direction (formation of quantum wire heterostructures)
  3. Non-destructive characterisation of arrays of 1DNS
  4. Functionalisation and interfacing of as-grown arrays of 1DNS and batch processing

The NanoEmbrace ITN comprises ten internationally leading institutions from six countries. Participating institutions are experts in the fields of materials science and engineering, chemistry, condensed matter physics, biophysics and nanoscale device fabrication, and are conducting “cutting edge” research in the growth, modelling, characterisation and functionalization of state of the art nanostructures.

In addition to the scientific expertise, the institutions are well recognised for the quality of their graduate and postgraduate training. By combining this complementary expertise, the network presents a timely opportunity to foster new collaborations as well as consolidating and strengthening existing synergies, through secondments, networking and the exchange of highly talented early stage researchers.

Likewise, NanoEmbrace has secured the participation of eight leading industrial partners, including 4 SMEs and 4 global companies. These provide the ESRs with the necessary multidisciplinary and intersectoral training skills to become versatile scientists, fully prepared to work in both academia and industry.