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Atto-calorimetric tools to explore material properties in the nanoscale


Nanoscale phenomena where the surface/interfaces or the small dimensions play a predominant role in the physical properties have become increasingly important in the last decade. Many characterization techniques have been adapted to face new challenges and understand new phenomena and calorimetry is no exception. ATTOCALMAT project pursues the development of a new nanocalorimetric technique the ’microsecond-pulsed steady-state method’ that will combine the signal enhancing of the fast scanning and the advanced signal averaging of steady-state techniques. Preliminary results with sensitivities of 5 pJ/Kmm have already shown an improvement by a factor of 50 compared to the best steady state techniques. With the scaling down of the Si-nanochips (sensing areas~200 nm^2), the addenda reduces to few fJ/K. The increase of surface selectivity is followed by the sensitivity with values of 0.2 aJ/K. Chips with a monocristalline Si layer below the SiNx membrane will easy the study of epitaxial materials. With the new cutting edge technique and the nanochip measurement of heat capacities of single nano-objects as function of temperature but also of external variables (like magnetic and electrical field, time…) are within reach. This thermal tool will be applied to underpinning the physical properties of materials that represent a leading edge research frontier in nanoscale science towards its end-use in potential applications as magnetic storage, spintronics or photonics.
Several of the challenging and unexplored measurements proposed are:
(i) Magnetocalorimetry to detect Néel’s wall formation in the antiferromagnetic material of an exchange biased system on physical properties. (Co/CoO or Ni/NiO)
(ii) Measurements of energy involved on the 2D-3D transition of Ge epitaxial heteroestructure on Si.
(iii) Nanocalorimetric study of low dimensionality effects in the ferromagnetic transition of epitaxial EuO on Si.

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Calle Campus Universitario Sn Cerdanyola V
08290 Cerdanyola Del Valles
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 45 000
Administrative Contact
Queralt Gonzalez Matos (Ms.)