Nanotechnology in the Far Eastern Federal University

Staff laboratory thin film technology : Samardak Alexander — Associate Professor, Department of Computer Systems SHEN Palo, Ognyov Alexei V. — Head of the Laboratory of film technology SHEN Palo, assistant professor of computer systems, led by Chebotkevich Lyudmila A., professor in the department of physics of low-dimensional systems, SHEN Palo, spoke about the history superbly equipped laboratories and their research.

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The Laboratory Palo film technologies. Photo NNN

Tell us about the directions in your laboratory

Ognyov: The main scientific activities of the laboratory and the entire scientific team — a study of magnetic materials — or rather, to examine the relationship between the structure, shape, dimensions and magnetic properties of nanostructures.

How long have you been doing it nanoscale structures?

Samardak: Subject evolved over the last 20-30 years. It all started with a study of thin film structures.

Chebotkevich: The scientific activity of the laboratory was formed as follows: the University at the time worked Valentine Vladislavovna Wind, student of Professor Kerensky from Krasnoyarsk. Yeah I was a student, and so began the development of our story. In Soviet times, we have had strong ties with the military and with the Zelenograd. We started with the development of memory on magnetic bubble (bubble domains).

Samardak: This research area is called bubble-memory, It was very popular abroad and in the Soviet Union. In the late 80th and early 90th century, the last record of this concept was abandoned in connection with the transition to a cheaper and more compact memory based on the longitudinal magnetic thin films.

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Chebotkevich: In Zelenograd task was to retrieve the object, where would be formed millions of cylindrical domains, but eventually the desired result was obtained. After adjustment Zelenograd eliminated this direction, as such, the Soviet Union ceased to actively engage in this, and we went to work with three-layer films, and the "down" by the nano-scale.

Ognyov: Three-layer films are widely used in the reading head "hard" disk. At the heart of the action is the giant magnetoresistance effect. Now technique moved perpendicular to the longitudinal information recording method with a high density using a slightly different effect — tunneling magnetoresistance. It is possible to increase the recording density by several orders of magnitude, and is now on the market we can already buy terabyte drives.

In those years, the study had some practical way, or did you do the theory?

W: We are mainly engaged in basic research, but earlier, during the Soviet era, when we were making presentations at conferences, we have received orders for the practical development. At first, I was engaged in massive materials, and then developed an interest in two-dimensional materials — films, after we have studied the three-layer nano-films with the size of the order of 10-20 Å layer. At the moment, we have moved to a one-dimensional and zero-dimensional structures — nanowires and nanodots.

About: Working with nanoscale structures was made possible thanks to the victory of the University in the higher education institutions, introducing innovative educational programs in 2006 in the project "Research and Education Resource Center of technologies to improve the quality of life in the Russian Far East" was part devoted to nanotechnology. At the University of nanotechnology, as such, two groups — led by electron microscopy VS Plotnikov, and our laboratory where we study magnetic nanostructures. The university administration had focused on equipping the University of fundamental equipment: expensive electron microscopes, facilities for nanostructures and the complete cycle of research.

Fixed assets of the grant received in 2006 was spent on the development of individual clusters, which were the points of growth of the university. We are responsible for the sector of nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. As a result, when equipment was purchased for 200 million rubles: plants for nanostructures from Omicron, research equipment from NT-MDT, magnetometers. Laboratory of Electron microscopy has also received equipment, mainly research. A total of nanotechnology University spent approximately one third the grant.

After receiving state support, we participated in the Federal Program "Development of nanotechnology." We have declared the project to 128 million rubles, in which we decided to develop a direction associated directly with nanotechnology. Were purchased equipment for lithography systems for etching and coating — This system allows us to provide a complete production cycle from idea to set up a pilot sample.

The technique has been chosen so that you can work in the same place, at the university, from the design to the study of all the properties of the object. This is a unique case in Russia. As a result, we were able to move from the investigation of bulk materials and two-dimensional objects to the study of one-dimensional and zero-dimensional nanostructures. The move cost us 300 million. In the end we got a significant increase of publications — from 2 to 12 a year. If you count all won domestic and foreign grants, over the 5 years we were able to recover two thirds of the money spent on the equipment.

Now, when we show our backlog, submitting the application for grants, interested customers know that our equipment and specialists we are able to do much. Moreover, the experience gained and the results allow us to enter the international market research, to establish contacts with colleagues from foreign universities.

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LA Chebotkevich

You are using this equipment alone or allow others to work in the CCU?

About: You may want to refer to us, but there are subtleties. Instruments are very complex and it is important not just to push buttons, but also feel the entire process from beginning to end. To invite someone from outside — they must be trained. This long-term process. A more productive approach — design studies to order.

We mainly engaged in basic scientific research, and we are not interested in purely practical engineering problems. If someone wants to do with our research — it is desirable to make a collective grant, which will be evaluated by experts and for which will be paid for. Then it will be interesting to all.

What is the comparative position of the laboratory, if we keep in mind the entire Far East region?

From: Throughout the region, no one has anything like it in this area. We specifically did review the situation in the sphere of nanotechnologies thr
oughout the Far East. It turned out that our laboratory — one of the few in the whole of Russia, which formed a complete research cycle.

When Alferov came to Palo in 2010, he said that nowhere in Russia did not see so well-organized and equipped research laboratory in the field of nanotech. Anatoly Chubais was also delighted by the laboratory, and in 2010 we offered RUSNANO few of our projects.

Regarding the organization of nanotechnology center with RUSNANO — here we have a bad experience. We are planning to create an interdisciplinary nano-center, the goal of which was to bring development scientists FEFU to a commercial product. Our application is not passed on competition, so this project is still under discussion and refinement.

About: On the island of Russian now built a large teaching laboratory building, which will be transported all the expensive equipment, and, in fact, it will be turned into nano-center. Of course, RUSNANO could invest in the purchase of equipment and interesting to them. In our university, we deal mainly in NIRS and RUSNANO to invest the funds in the final stage of the research, so you can get the prototype and production technology.

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AS Samardak and AV Ognyov

Is there a regional specificity? You have ties around the world, or still actively cooperates with its neighbors: Korea, Japan, China?

From: We were recently on a working visit in Korea and Singapore. There’s a very high scientific and technological level, but on their side there is not much interest in the partnership with Russian universities, so we are working actively with Europe and the United States.

Now China is actively building its fundamental basis. Do you have contacts with Chinese universities, laboratories?

From: With Chinese scientists have no joint projects, as China is somewhat different policy in the sphere of science. They send their scientists at leading universities around the world. There is a special financing program. Many Chinese scholars, even without completing contracts in Europe, returning home, getting a good job. This allows China to actively move forward in the direction of scientific and technological development.

W: Palo has a close relationship with Chinese partners, mainly in the field of construction and engineering technologies. Our teachers go there, we are implementing a program of student exchange, China is actively adopts experience. They arrive in Vladivostok, learn from excellent build scientific and technological centers at home at a very high level, get a lot of money on development. In our area they are going to contact to learn from our experience.

As the University is associated with the commercialization of its walls obtained in scientific knowledge?

About: It should be remembered that the university has a main tasks: to teach students to prepare professional personnel. To grow the specialist, who will be in demand in the world market, particularly physics, it is necessary to the teachers themselves were engaged in scientific activities. In all areas we need to have a strong and sustainable scientific base. However, commercialization — is not priority task of the university. To avoid the possibility of commercialization, profitability should expect other special bodies. We’re going to teach children to prepare professional quality footage, and in his spare time watching the commercialization of research.

It is impossible to burden on the shoulders of scientists and development, and design, and commercialization of innovative products. If a scholar — he should do. If he begins to engage in business and commerce, he gave up science.

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Your group could go with proprietary technologies to the world level?

W: Yes, we have a patent jointly with SAMSUNG, concerning the three-layer films with a strong antiferromagnetic coupling. We managed to get the domains are very small.

How many international students at the university?

Now there are about a thousand, but by the end of the program of development of their number should increase. In order to attract foreign students and we have to correspond to international standards of education, to build and equip a good laboratory actively published in respected journals and do research.

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Awards team

Alexander, tell us about the direction of their activities on your big project?

C: In 2005, I took a short-term internship at the University of Bath in the UK. After my return to Vladivostok, I received an invitation from Bath to participate in a large research project. I took part in the competition for the temporary position of the researcher at the University of Bath and a few months later went to work there. It was a project dedicated to the creation of artificial semiconductor neurons. First, we investigated the single neuron, then the task was to grow the array. A common approach is to create a computer model of a neuron with the desired characteristics. There is certainly laid a mistake — the computer sequentially processes the data, and we’re trying to simulate a parallel structure. Our idea was to create an artificial neuron in the "hardware." Yet 60 years ago, the American physicist Shockley had a very close analogy between electrons and holes, donors and acceptors in semiconductors and acids, bases, cations and anions in aqueous solutions. In biological neurons have anions and cations, through which the charge wave propagates along the membrane of a neuron to neuron. Based on this knowledge, we repeated the structure of the neuron on the basis of a monolithic semiconductor microstructures. We formed dendrites, soma, axon. The semiconductor substrate is grown in Oxford, and then I studied lithography, etching is performed, making contacts and studied electrical properties. We managed to get the neuron that reproduces the electrical properties of its biological counterpart. Moreover, the artificial neuron shown and stochastic phenomena such as stochastic and coherent resonances characteristic of biological objects and allowing not lose information in transit.

In 2005 was opened by the soliton nature of signal transmission in biological neurons. Nature is arranged so that the brain’s neurons transmit information via a solitary wave — soliton, who is spreading the motion. This mechanism does not allow the brain to save information processing. In semiconductor structures soliton phenomena — a common occurrence. Therefore, we are currently working on soliton neuron, which will be more efficient to transmit and process information.

This project is carried out jointly with British colleagues from the University of Bath (University of Bath). While we work without financial support and hope to soon get a research grant. Subject aroused great interest, we have received good reviews, some Russian companies are also interested in our research, this project has rea
ched the semifinal Zworykin Award, we won the cup in Technovation MIPT in 2010, but the matter has not yet developed.

The next step would be another research aimed at improving the structure, the creation of small neural networks, which will make the cell associative memory based on the logic element "or negative". This memory is not done anywhere in the world. I guess with two neurons we can easily implement a memory cell.

Also, we have shown that the noise applied to the neuron can increase the useful signal. And although at the household level, it can be seen as a paradox, this effect can be used to amplify signals in various devices, such as devices for hearing-impaired people. In other words, when the noise is served, the person begins to hear a lot better, because the amplitude of the desired signal is increased, when added to the noise. This phenomenon is called stochastic resonance. It is used in many animals, such as sawfish against the turbulence of the water, playing the role of noise, very well distinguish the desired signal from the tail of a passing prey. On the background noise, it feels much better production. Stochastic effects are widely used in ring lasers, a Schmitt trigger.

It is well known that the human brain is constantly working in a noisy environment, and the researchers was the question of how one can in such a flow of information to track something specific? It was found that the brain works better with constant background noise, because due to stochastic phenomena are improving the system parameters. So Japanese scientists conducted experiments with vision: the screen shows a photo of her and gradually "zashumlyali." It was found that at a certain level of noise better picture becomes visible. Now at the university, we are actively engaged in magnetic phenomena: developing magnetic media that can be used to create high-density non-volatile magnetic memory, sensitive magnetic sensors and magnetic sensors. Work is in progress on the study of nanowires with a diameter of 5-30 nm. On arrays of nanowires can make the memory density of about 10 Tbit/sm2.

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How do you feel about moving to the University of the Russian island?

C: Moving — is a complex process, especially for our laboratory equipped vyskokotehnologichnym equipment. All of it is the ultra-high vacuum, so it will not be easy to dismantle, transport and re-assemble at a new location. While laboratory relocation has not touched since September will need to start the school year, and at the Russian laboratory building is not finished yet. Transportation equipment will require a lot of time, but we can not deprive students of classes.

As far as the students are involved in the work of the laboratory?

From: Students willingly come to us to work with. Now a group of about 10. On the 2nd date guys choose to specialize and are determined with the subject of their research work of students. There are talented students who are interested, they really help us. Often, these guys are working with graduate students, even during the holidays.

W: Now the main problem is that high school graduates come to the university with a very weak knowledge. Some simply do not reach the 5th year. Of course, there are guys with a sufficient amount of knowledge received from tutors, through extra-curricular activities.

From: In conclusion, I can say that our team is working with optimism, all charged with a very strong energy. There are always new ideas, graduate students and young scientists travel to conferences, publish articles. We love what we do, we are all covered general idea of finding new knowledge, with the winning grants and did no one ask, in this context, we have everything in order.

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