European Commission · Horizon 2020

call: H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
(Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship)
proposal acronym: DISCOVERY

Tackling future trends and societal challenges urgently needs digital technologies.

Already today electronic mass products contain individual device structures with dimensions and tolerances on the very-few (2-5) nanometer scale. The fabrication of such highly sophisticated nanosystems significantly requires more and more processing technologies with atomic-level precision. Thus, ALD (atomic layer deposition) has been established for the past decade as a coating technique. However, the counterpart material-removal technique ALE (atomic layer etching) has emerged just very recently. In combination, ALD plus ALE will sum up to ALP (Ångström-level processing), which gives control over selective material addition and subtraction, respectively, on the atomic scale.

This MSCA (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action) targets at the topical

DISCOVERY of selective ALE (atomic layer etching) by irtSE (in-situ real-time spectroscopic ellipsometry).

In recent years Dipl.-Ing. Marcel Junige has pushed ahead the real-time resolution of irtSE and complimented it’s sub-Å precision by synergistic in-vacuo techniques (notably PES: photo-electron spectroscopy & SPM: scanning probe microscopy). With this advanced hybrid metrology setup he will now reveal an unprecedented deep insight towards an atomistic understanding of the physico-chemical mechanisms of (thermal-activated & plasma-enhanced) ALE, as well as selectivity.

The ultimate goal is to establish an ALP toolbox at TU Dresden with capabilities for

  1. selective ALD & ALE processing, and
  2. in-situ real-time plus in-vacuo characterization,
  3. both approaching the atomic scale.

This highly advanced technology setup will then serve as credible foundation for follow-up projects engaging in the realization of ‘More-than-Moore’ or ‘beyond CMOS’ devices.

At the forefront of nanotechnology this “DISCOVERY” will cross borders between chemistry, physics, and engineering; between the European industry partner (Dr. Mike Cooke at Oxford Instruments) and academia (Prof. Dr. Steven M. George at CU Boulder, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Mikolajick at TU Dresden & NaMLab); between the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Germany.

further information

Further information is summarized on the following pages. Protected content is indicated by (∗).
Password is the 6-digit proposal number.

  1. motivation (proposal section 1.1) (∗)
  2. project-specific objectives & overview of the proposed action (proposal section 1.1) (∗)
  3. originality & innovation aspects: level of novelty & high-quality (proposal section 1.1) (∗)
  4. participating partner organizations
  5. institutional environment (infrastructure) (proposal section 3.3)
  6. time schedule & work plan with allocated tasks and secondment (proposal section 3.1) (∗)

The project proposal »DISCOVERY of Atomic Layer Etching by in-situ real-time Spectroscopic Ellipsometry«, submitted under the Horizon 2020’s call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017 by Marcel Junige and Technische Universität Dresden, has been awarded the MSCA (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions) SoE (Seal of Excellence). This quality label is awarded to project proposals that were scored as high-quality in a highly competitive evaluation process by an international panel of independent experts but could not be funded from the call budget.
The DISCOVERY proposal passed with a score of 90.2% and all stringent Horizon 2020 assessment thresholds for the three award criteria (excellence: 46/50; impact: 29.4/30; quality and efficiency of implementation: 14.8/20). The European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, and the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, recommend this DISCOVERY proposal for funding by other sources since Horizon 2020 resources available for this specific call were already allocated following a competitive ranking.