Our core mission is to attract the most outstanding and motivated students and young researchers and help them establish their creative skills through a world-class multidisciplinary research program. We aim at creating a stimulating work environment that can promote harmony between advanced fundamental topics and technology-driven research. We are fully committed to offering our students and young researchers the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in several epitaxy, metrology, nanofabrication tools, and simulation techniques, and the perfect pedestal to create new synergies across different branches of science and engineering. Such an environment, I am sure, will help the young researchers diversify their training, gain complementary expertise, shape their networking capabilities, and enrich their interpersonal skills, all of which are highly sought-after qualities in increasingly global and multicultural scientific research, in both academia and industries.
We envision establishing a world-class semiconductor research facility that will drive both innovations and practical applications. The associated research programs will focus on uncovering and exploiting atomistic and quantum processes in emerging materials and harnessing their properties in innovative and scalable devices. A unique combination of advanced material engineering and device processing shall be implemented as key strategies to tailor-make nanostructured semiconductors and enable a deep understanding of the fundamental processes shaping their basic properties. In addition to this dimension, our long-term vision also combines technological applications, including device development, optimization, prototyping, and integration, targeting a wide range of applications in photonics, optoelectronics, quantum technologies, nanoelectronics, energy harvesting, and sensing. The research will enable the development of a broad portfolio of novel device architectures and create valuable new synergies with researchers from diverse backgrounds to effectively transfer the acquired knowledge to real-world applications.
Current areas of research
- 1. Silicon-compatible optoelectronics & photonics
The group’s research focuses on developing nanoscale photonic and sensing broadband devices and integrating them into CMOS-compatible compact platforms. This consists of alloys, heterostructures, and superlattices of the elements belonging to group IV of the periodic table, namely silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), and tin (Sn). Bandgap-engineered optoelectronic and photonic devices, with the potential to cover a wide wavelength range, are being highly sought-after for true monolithic integration of photonic and electronic circuits, with targeted applications in diverse areas of communication and information processing, sensing, imaging, and much more.
- 2. Beyond-graphene 2D materials and van der Waals heterostructures
Exploring novel families of two-dimensional (2D) materials like the transition metal dichalcogenides and xenes, can provide an attractive platform to investigate the fundamental physics of ultrathin materials. Our research aims at tailoring the stacking of such 2D materials in the form of vertical or horizontal heterostructures and engineering the interface properties of the 2D materials with conventional semiconductors. The ability to manipulate the optical, electrical, topological, surface, and quantum phenomena at such length scales can open up new avenues for technological advancements in diverse areas of science and materials engineering.
- 3. Semiconductor nanowires and quantum dots - From synthesis to applications
Nanostructured materials such as nanowires and quantum dots have attracted great attention due to their unique fundamental properties, which are not present in their bulk counterparts. We focus on tailor-making synthetic quantum systems, like quantum dot(s) or (multi)quantum well within nanowires, in an atom-by-atom fashion, and investigating their properties with advanced microscopy, spectroscopy, and transport measurements. We aim at deepening our atomic-level understanding of the underlying physics at the nanoscale and enabling the development of a broad portfolio of nanodevices.
- 4. Quantum engineering using silicon-germanium-based materials and devices
All modern-day quantum architectures, like electron/hole spins in solid-state materials, come with a specific set of challenges like hyperfine interaction with nuclear spins, valley splitting, charge noise fluctuations, disorder induced by crystal defects, mass-disorder induced fluctuations, to name a few. Our objective is to overcome some of these inherent limitations by employing novel materials engineering, precise metrology, and device processing as a versatile paradigm to unveil exciting and new physics at the quantum scale and enable radical new possibilities in quantum-enhanced information, communication, and sensing.
- 5. Novel photovoltaic and thermoelectric architectures for clean energy harvesting
We focus on carbon-free clean energy harvesting by carrying out front-line research in new materials discovery and device engineering. A unique family of materials, like bandgap-engineered semiconductor multilayers, axial/radial heterojunction nanowires, phonon-engineered alloyed semiconductors, heterostructures of 2D materials, and/or topological insulators, are to be developed using scalable methods and their associated functionalities are to be tested for robust photovoltaic, energy storage, and thermoelectric applications.