Nanometer-sized structures, surfaces and sub-surface phenomena have played an enormous role in science and technological applications and represent a driving-force of current interdisciplinary science. Recent developments include the atomic-scale characterization of nanoparticles, molecular reactions at surfaces, magnetism at the atomic scale, photoelectric characterization of nanostructures as well as two-dimensional solids. Research and development of smart nanostructured materials governed by their surface properties is a rapidly growing field. The main challenge is to develop an accurate and robust electronic structure description. The density of surface-related trap states is analyzed by transient UV photoconductivity and temperature-dependent admittance spectroscopy. An advanced application of thin films on shaped substrates is the deposition of catalytic layers on hollow glass microspheres for hydrogen storage controlled exothermal hydrolytic release. Surface properties of thin films including dissolution and corrosion, fouling resistance, and hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity are explored to improve materials response in biological environments and medicine. Trends in surface biofunctionalization routes based on vacuum techniques, together with advances in surface analysis of biomaterials, are discussed. Pioneering advances in the application of X-ray nanodiffraction of thin film cross-sections for characterizing nanostructure and local strain including in-situ experiments during nanoindentation are described. Precise measurements and control of plasma properties are important for fundamental investigations and the development of next generation plasma-based technologies. Critical control parameters are the flux and energy distribution of incident ions at reactive surfaces; it is also crucial to control the dynamics of electrons initiating non-equilibrium chemical reactions. The most promising approach involves the exploitation of complementary advantages in direct measurements combined with specifically designed numerical simulations. Exciting new developments in vacuum science and technology have focused on forward-looking and next generation standards and sensors that take advantage of photonics based measurements. These measurements are inherently fast, frequency based, easily transferrable to sensors based on photonics and hold promise of being disruptive and transformative. Realization of Pascal, the SI unit for pressure, a cold-atom trap based ultra-high and extreme high vacuum (UHV and XHV) standard, dynamic pressure measurements and a photonic based thermometer are three key examples that are presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- !!Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- !!Surfaces and Interfaces
- !!Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- !!Metals and Alloys
- !!Materials Chemistry