CE09 - Nanomatériaux et nanotechnologies pour les produits du futur

Doping at the nanoscale – DONNA

Submission summary

The discovery of localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPR) in doped semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) has opened a new field in plasmonics. As an emerging new class of plasmonic nanomaterials, doped semiconductor NCs with LSPR has received great attention in the past few years, with recent pioneering contributions from famous international universities. In France, this subject remains unexplored with only few recent theoretical and experimental contributions, mainly due to synthesis challenges. In particular, there is no clear picture on the atomic insertion and activation of dopants and on the efficient way to introduce them at the nanoscale. In this context, the DONNA project aims at the synthesis of efficiently doped semiconductor NCs. Silicon has been chosen for its compatibility with the CMOS technology, which strongly promotes its use for applications. The Si-NCs will be elaborated using 3 physical routes and embedded in a silica matrix, which will preserve the NCs from aging (oxidation) and dissemination, in a safe-by-design approach.
The purpose of the DONNA project is to develop model systems and new approaches for efficient doping at the nanoscale. The 2 milestones are (M1) to control the insertion of active dopants inside NCs and (M2) to be able to measure this activation. The first milestone requires a strong effort on the synthesis by using new routes implying model systems and out-of-equilibrium conditions. In particular, Laser Thermal Annealing (LTA) will be employed for the dopant activation. A similar approach was already successfully applied for the fabrication of ultra-shallow junctions for source/drain doping in bulk Si. The second milestone requires the systematic use of structural and chemical characterization at the nanoscale, with advanced techniques at the forefront of the state of the art as STEM-EDS and Atom Probe Tomography for 2D and 3D mapping of the dopants inside the NCs. In addition, an all-optical technique based on the generation of LSPRs in doped Si-NCs detected using IR optical spectroscopies, will be used as a tool for active dopant concentration measurement.
This project is a PRCE gathering laboratories from both CNRS and CEA together with an industrial SME partner (Ion Beam Services, IBS). The partners come either from the communities of nanomaterials (CEMES, IJL, GPM) or microelectronics (IBS, LAAS, LETI) providing the requested complementarities. DONNA is a basic research project (TRL1) aimed at the design of complex and functional assemblies of nano-objects. The first impact at short term is to produce knowledge on doping at the nanoscale: all the produced results will potentially be extended to other semiconductor NCs. The expected technological advances concern first a synthesis challenge with a proof of concept: we expect our new approach, involving out-of-equilibrium processes as LTA, to push the limits of thermodynamics, circumvent the self-purification mechanism and lead to a significant increase of the activation ratio. Second, getting a comprehensive vision of the atomic phenomena involved in the doping process at the nanoscale, as it is ambitioned here, is a prerequisite step for future applications involving these nanostructures. Among these, the generation of LSPR (in the medium IR to the near IR for high doping) in these new plasmonic materials will pave the way for new applications involving active, reconfigurable and CMOS compatible plasmonic devices. For the industrial partner, this project will bring new expertise in the production of functional NCs and in the conception of new plasmonic nanomaterials. This will open in the short term new markets for PULSION® implantation tools in growing sectors as for example chemical sensors compatible with the standard Si-technology or applications in photovoltaics requiring electromagnetic field enhancement without local heating.

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


GPM Groupe de Physique des Matériaux
IJL Institut Jean Lamour (Matériaux - Métallurgie - Nanosciences - Plasmas - Surfaces)
LAAS-CNRS Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes du CNRS
CEA - LETI Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives

Help of the ANR 616,433 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2018 - 36 Months

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