Project Summary

The objective of the SPM2.0 Network is to train through research a new generation of researchers in the most advanced SPM techniques able to address the challenge of sub-surface, high speed and composition sensitive imaging of materials with sub-10 nm spatial resolution.

The overall objective is to push forward the current technological limits of advanced SPM techniques for this particular challenge, as well as, to boost forward the adoption of these techniques in key industrial sectors, such as, Materials, Electronics, Biology and Medicine.

In order to achieve these goals, the Research Program of the SPM2.0 Network will be centred in the development of beyond current state of the art SPM techniques for high spatial resolution non-destructive and fast 3D tomographic chemical imaging of materials and of novel applications based on them.

The research program will include the development of novel SPM instruments and accessories (e.g. probes), such as, a high speed SPM system with molecular tracking capabilities, a nanoscale infrared composition mapping SPM system able to operate in liquid media or a 3D SPM tomographic system with 3D reconstruction capabilities beyond microns depth. In addition, the research program will also include applications of the developed instruments, or of existing ones, to real problems currently faced in key industrial sectors, and which cannot be solved with other Advanced Microscopy techniques. The applications include the 3D tomographic mapping of doping profiling in novel semiconductor devices, the sub-10 nm chemical mapping of polymer nanocomposites and biomembranes, the label free imaging of engineered nanomaterials in living cells and the mutation detection in single proteins.

The Research Program of the SPM2.0 Network will, hence, deal with disruptive technologies, concepts and methods which go well beyond those currently implemented in commercial SPM systems or in any other Advanced Microscopy device. The unique consortium formed by world leading academic and industrial research groups, which have already decisively contributed to the latest developments of these advanced SPM techniques and in the development of Nanotechnology based products, constitutes a guarantee for the success of the Network and for a brilliant future of the network Fellows. The success of the ETN will contribute to position Europe in a leading position in the Advanced Microscopy sector and in the manufacture of Nanotechnology based products.

The research programme of the Network is organized into six research Work Packages (WPs):

  • WP2 will deal with the theoretical modelling of the novel SPM techniques.
  • WP3 will deal with the development of novel advanced SPM instruments for high-speed imaging, composition sensitive mapping and 3D tomographic reconstruction.
  • WP4 will include the development of novel SPM probes and other accessories to enhance the capabilities of the new SPM techniques.
  • WP5 will include relevant applications of the novel techniques to the Materials and Electronics sectors.
  • WP6 will include those relevant for the Biology and Medicine sectors.
  • WP7 will cover metrology and standardization aspects of the novel techniques.