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Sectoral Operational Programme „Increase of Economic Competitiveness”

„Investments for Your Future”

Objectives


By contract, it was established that the main indicator would be the number of pieces of equipment worth more than 100.000 euro for 18 (eighteen) pieces of equipment
(see the equipments). After the acquisition procedures (auctions, negociations), the prices obtained in the end for the great majority of the equipment were lower than the initial estimations, which allowed the acquisition, in the end, of 23 (twenty three) pieces of equipment worth more than 100 000 euro each. The need for the additional equipment was decided based on a reevaluation of the Feasibility Study, which determined that this equipment will contribute decisively in placing NIMP in a top position for materials physics and solid state research at the European level.

Another important indicator of the Project was the number of positions created within 5 years after the start of the project (and 3 years after the end of the project). This number of positions was established at 24 (twenty four). At the moment the project was drawn to a close (two years after its beginning), these positions were created and occupied by young graduates in the fields of physics, chemistry or engineering. It can be concluded that, at this moment, the two major indicators of the Project have already been surpassed. The other results indicators (number of software packages, number of ISI papers produced, positions maintained for R&D activities, valuable postdoctoral researchers attracted etc.) have been realized adequately as well.

The Centre has planned to establish two new laboratories:

A1. The High-resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy Laboratory
In this laboratory, the main acquisition was (i) a Jeol ARM 200F high resolution electron microscope (with atomic resolution, 0.8 Angstrom) [Fig. (b)] si (ii) a focused ion beam sample preparation system with scanning electron miscroscope monitorization (Tescan). A complex SPM scanning microscopy system (iii) consisting of AFM, MFM, STM, CFM, EFM, and nanoindentation, functioning under vacuum and at variable temperature (NT-MDT) was acquired as well.

A2. The Cleanroom
This infrastructure consists of (i) a class ISO 1000 cleanroom with an area of 45 m2, where (ii) a Raith-Hitachi SEM nanolithography system with laser interferometry sample alignment, chemical huts and (iii-iv) two metallization systems with multiple cells for direct and electron beam evaporation, one for noncontaminated and one for contaminated metals, have been installed. Another cleanroom, of class ISO 100 and with an area of 15 m2, houses (v) a new photolithography system (EV Group).

The Centre also planned the modernization of five existing laboratories:

B1. The Surface and Interface Science Laboratory, through the acquisition of (i) an angle- and spin-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy system and (ii) a LEEM-PEEM low energy electron and photoelectron microscopy system, both produced by Specs. The resulting complex system for the study of surfaces and interfaces [Fig. (a)] is among the most performant existing in the European Union; regarding the LEEM-PEEM system, up to this moment there are only two such systems in Europe and five in the United States.

B2. The Complex Structural Materials Characterization Laboratory was modernized through the acquisition of (i) a pulsed Fourier Transform Electronic Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Spectrometer, which is unique at national level, (ii) a magnetic field Mossbauer spectrometer with a liquid He cryostat (also unique) and (iii) a X-ray absorption spectrometer that makes it possible to accomplish at NIMP measurements that otherwise would require access to synchrotron radiation facilities (there is only one other system installed in Europe at this moment).

B3. The High Frequency (THz) Studies Laboratory, for which (i) a vector network analyzer from Agilent, an anechoic chamber and (ii) a spectrometer that can operate at up to 7 THz (Aispec Japonia) were acquired. The latter acquisition is unique in the world; there has been no other such spectrometer sold in the United States, the European Union or any other developed economy with the exception of Japan. A variable temperature measurement station for small dimension samples (ii) was also acquired.

B4. The Optics and Spectroscopy Laboratory was modernized through the acquisition of (i) a Raman spectrophotometer with optical microscope operating in a large range of excitation energies, which constitutes, together with the existing equipment, the most important Raman measurement platform in Eastern Europe. A near field fluorescence optical microscope (ii) that can operate at liquid He temperatures, which is also a unique system, was acquired as well.

B5. The Complex Electrical and Magnetic Characterization Laboratory was completed with the following equipment: (i) a ferroelectric thin film tester; (ii) a cryprober with micromanipulators; (iii) a cryogenic PPMS system for physical property measurements; (iv) a SQUID superconducting quantum interference magnetometer (minimum temperature of 2 K); (v) two He liquefaction stations, one for each wing of the NIMP building.