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New UHV equipment with a Source of Nanoparticles

by Guy Molénat - published on

The synthesis of nano-objects is an important theme of the CEMES laboratory. This new equipment, acquired in the frame of the CPER NANOMAT (2015-2020), will allow us to synthesize, in the gas phase, nanoparticles with well controlled size, composition and morphology. It also includes seven complementary sources dedicated to the atomically controlled growth of thin and ultrathin films.

In the frame of the CPER NANOMAT “Nanomatériaux adressables (2015-2020)”, we acquired a sputtering device equipped with a source of nanoparticles. This equipment combines several deposition sources, allowing the growth of thin layers (amorphous or epitaxially grown on crystalline substrates) controlled at the atomic scale. In addition, the innovative source allows the gas-phase synthesis of nanoparticles with a well-controlled size (mass-selected nanoparticles), composition (3 different sources) and morphology (deposition parameters).

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UHV chambre with a source of nanoparticles

 A source of nanoparticles, what for?

To create new properties by playing with :

- Composition: synthesizing nano-alloys based on weakly or non-miscible elements – achieving high doping levels in nanoclusters...

- Structure: forming metastable phases with enhanced properties, generating chemically ordered phases which do not exist in the bulk diagram...

- Morphology (non-equilibrium) : controlling the nature (structure and composition) of the surface facets is important for many properties, such as the molecular grafting...

 These mass-selected nanoparticles can be incorporated into dielectric or metallic matrices, through either co-deposition or alternate deposition in order to develop more functional nanostructures.

 The development and/or study of the properties of nano-objects are a strong component of the CEMES laboratory. This equipment completes the possibilities of nanostructures development already available in Toulouse (Federation de la Matière Condensée and NEXT). In particular, it will be very complementary to the sputtering device fitted with a glove box, allowing the development of hybrid devices (chemically synthesized nanoparticles and thin layers grown in UHV environment), located at the LPCNO.


Sophie Barre, Béatrice Pecassou