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Ultra-versatile Structural PRINTing of amorphous and tuned crystalline matter on multiple substrates

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SPRINT (Ultra-versatile Structural PRINTing of amorphous and tuned crystalline matter on multiple substrates)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2021-02-28

Thin film deposition methods are crucial to generate progress in Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) of strategic importance for Europe, including Advanced Materials, Nanotechnology, Micro- and Nanoelectronics, Biotechnology, and Photonics. Devices such as photovoltaic cells, light emitting diodes, electronic and optoelectronic micro-/nano-sensors are prominent examples of thin film applications where the precise control of material deposition and its degree of order (crystallinity) are of paramount importance for their performance and function
However, technologies for thin film deposition have very limited capacity to tune crystallinity of the materials deposited, at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, or to create functional 3D architectures, in a single and versatile manner. The requirement of high temperatures and vacuum conditions make them inherently costly and unsuitable for deposition on various substrates (e.g. plastics). Moreover, their dimensions are not compatible with miniaturization and integration in table-top interfaces that would broaden their potential use. These limitations restrain the development of ground-breaking functional materials and new-conceptual devices. All this hampers innovation and the appearance of new and cost-effective marketable products.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance to develop a radically new deposition technology allowing: (i) control over the chemical and physical properties of the materials to be deposited in thin films, which can lead to the development of new advanced materials and devices; (ii) deposition of functional 3D architectures without multistep protocols, to enable the direct printing of 2D/3D functional devices and structures; (iii) deposition of a large variety of materials at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, to offer increased capabilities and significant reductions in fabrication costs.
The work has progressess according to the stablished in the Gantt chart. Of the 4 technical WPs, WP1 and WP2 have already started. Most of the work has been carried out in WP1 where new developments have to be carried out to being able to control the cristallinity of deposited materials. As part of this research, there are already 3 papers being prepared (one detailind the chemical vapour deposition of SiOx thin films using a new precursor, the deposition of patterned hibryd thin films and a minireview). The project and some preliminary results have already been presented in different conferences and workshops by the different members of the consortium.
Also, a project webpage has been made where the outcomes of the project in terms of communication and dissemination are included.
The SPRINT project will develop a universal deposition technology of amorphous and tuned crystalline matter on multiple substrates, at room temperature and pressure. This technology will be completelly new and not only combines the benefits of existing advanced deposition methods, at significantly lower cost and higher deposition rates, but also goes beyond the state-of-the-art in advanced materials development, to open new roadmaps to a plethora of future devices and applications.
Cover of a paper describing a preliminary proof of concept of the SPRINT technology
Cover of a paper published jointly by ETH and CNRS
cover of a paper reporting the open-air deposition of SiOx