The group of D. Kern has long-standing experience in micro- and nanotechnology, in particular in the areas of fabrication and characterization of semiconductor and metal structures, as well as of micro-electro-mechanical components (MEMS) for sensing and electron optics. Current research topics include calayst pattering and methods for the targeted growth of aligned carbon nanotubes for electronic applications, large area patterning for the investigation and optimization of biotemplate surfaces, miniaturization of and quantum transport in silicon devices, particle manipulation in microfluidic channels, and plasmonic metal nanostructures. For thin film deposition, the techniques of LPCVD, PECVD, spin coating, sputtering, thermal and electron beam deposition are available. Lateral structuring is performed by optical and electron beam lithography, followed by wet etching, RIE, ion beam milling, lift-off, or electrochemical processes. CVD and PECVD processes are developed for the growth of carbon nanotubes in different configurations (single or multi walled, individual or forests, vertically or horizontally aligned, etc.). For characterization purposes, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy or atomic force microscopy are employed.
In the hν Center, close links exist with the groups of F. Schreiber (SERS), T. Chassé (Raman spectroscopy, investigation of resist surfaces) and A. Meixner/D. Zhang (plasmonics, optical antenna systems, sensing), while cooperation with M. Brecht ist envisaged (photo system/nanostructures). Within LISA+, additional collaborations exist with the groups of J. Fortágh (interaction atoms/carbon nanotubes) and C. Zimmermann/S. Slama (interaction between ultracold atoms and plasmonic nanostructures), R. Kleiner and D. Kölle (structured superconducting films) and D.A. Wharam (single electron transistors).