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The NanoCluster tool

The state of the art multi-material cluster (NanoCluster) tool is operated by institutes from Forshungszentrum Jülich (PGI-9, PGI-10, , PGI-7, PGI-6) and RWTH Aachen (IP 1A). The tool provides a unique combination of ten UHV epitaxial/deposition systems including MBE, ALD, and sputtering which are interconnected by linear transfer lines and rotary transfer arms. It offers the possibility for in-situ growth of complex nanostructures from III-V and group-II selenide based semiconductors, topological insulators, metals, oxides, magnetic and phase change materials. The in-situ growth can reduce significantly the interface density of states resulting in improved (opto-) electronic nanodevices and offering the chance to study new quantum phenomena. The cluster tool is potentially an ‘alembic’ for developing new materials and hybrid structures in ultra clean conditions. In the near future, equipment for in-situ characterization and processing, STM, combined FIB/SEM and LEED, will be attached to the NanoCluster tool.

More than half of the systems are used for the growth and deposition activities in PGI-9:

  • Module 1 (M#1) is an Omicron PRO-100 III-As MBE system equipped with As-cracker source and 2x Ga, In, and Al effusion cells. Si, GaTe and C sublimation sources are used for doping. The system is used for the growth of high quality GaAs/AlGaAs/InGaAs heterostructures and InAs quantum dots necessary for projects related to semiconductor based quantum computing.
  • Similarly, module 2 (M#2) is also an Omicron PRO-100 MBE system but for III-As, Sb. In comparison with M#1, it has an additional Sb cracker source and only one Ga effusion cell. The facility is mainly used for the growth of nanowires (NWs): InAs and GaAs NW (array)’s, core-shell semiconductor NWs, such as GaAs/InAs, GaAs/InSb, InAs/GaSb, and GaAs/ZnSe (M#12) NWs. Additionally, GaAs and InGaAs substrates for II-VI epitaxy are grown. The NWs are grown for magnetotransport investigations, superconductor-semiconductor based qubits, low power devices, etc.
  • Module 3 (M#3) is an Oxford Instruments FlexAL II ALD system equipped to take 8 liquid or solid precursors + H2O, bubbled or vapor draw, 6 gaseous precursors (N2, Ar, O2, H2, etc.). ICP remote plasma source and ozone generator complete the endowment finally, offering much flexibility in the deposition of a large variety of oxides and nitrides. In our institute, the equipment is used for in-situ deposition of high-k dielectrics (Al2O3, HfO2) and metal gates (TiN, TaN) on the epitaxially grown structures and NWs.
  • Module 4 (M#4) is an Omicron PRO-100 Metal MBE system having 3 high temperature effusion cells for Pt, Ti and Ni, one low temperature effusion cell for In and 2 UHV Electron Beam Evaporators each with 4 pockets for Al, Ti, Pd, Ta, Nb, etc. The system is aimed for in-situ deposition of metals and superconductors on semiconductor or topological insulator nanostructures, namely NWs.
  • Module 12 (M#12) is a home-built MBE system for the growth of II-Se heterostructures equipped with standard Zn, Cd, Mg, and Se effusion cells as well as nuclear-spin-free Zn and Se isotope sources. ZnCl2 and ZnF2 are used for doping. The system is used for the fabrication of nanostructures necessary for projects related to semiconductor spin qubits, single photon sources and III-V/II-VI hybrid core/shell nanowires.
  • Module 13 (M#13) is a custom-built MBE system for topological insulator materials. The equipment has cracker sources for Sb, Se, Te, a dual effusion cell for Bi and a normal effusion cell for Mn (Cr). An UHV Electron Beam Evaporator with 6 pockets for the deposition of Al, Nb, Ti, V, Pd and W, is also attached to the chamber. The growth of specific hybrid structures is part of the research activity topological quantum computing.