Defects dynamics in NanoMaterials: research based on Ion Track Experiments
New materials and their unique properties have always enabled innovations and new products, regardless of the historical period.
Nowadays, advanced materials and advanced materials processing techniques are basis of the present-day technology. Even more, scientific advances initiated by recent discovery of graphene, promise unpreceded benefits that would justify disruption of current industrial processes, thus giving birth to radically new products. Clearly, to control properties of these new and exciting nanomaterials is of paramount importance for any kind of industrial application. There are many ways how material properties can be changed in a controlled way. Ion implantation is one example where electrical properties of semiconductors can be tuned by ion doping in extraordinary wide range. High energy ion irradiations can also be used, when control over material properties is achieved by defect engineering (i.e. ion tracks). This kind of irradiation has found many uses in diverse applications like track-etch-membrane production, hadron therapy, and studies related to nuclear waste storage.
It is expected that defects introduced into advanced materials by high energy ion irradiation will give them new functionalities suitable for other applications, like sensing or catalysis. To gain full control over defect engineering using ion beams, it is important to understand basic mechanisms that are active during ion irradiation process governing defect production and their dynamics.
The aim of the proposed project is to study in detail defects and their dynamics in advanced materials during high energy ion irradiation, in order to establish suitable conditions for defect engineering. In the research focus is graphene that captures many extraordinary properties in a single material, and also some other selected 2D materials. This research will be complemented with studies of defect engineering by high energy ion beams in other technologically relevant materials. The methods to be used most in the project are Raman spectroscopy (RS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and Rutherford backscattering in channeling (RBS/c). Expected results from systematic investigations undertaken within the project should provide comprehensive insight into processes governing defect dynamics in nanomaterials, and consequently impact to the research field is expected to be substantial.