With a total capital value of $3.28M, the new Epitaxial Growth Laboratory houses three state-of-the-art molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) systems allowing the growth of custom-designed materials – that is, crystal structures are grown one layer of atoms at a time with precise control of atomic concentrations according to a researcher’s design. MBE techniques enable novel technologies by allowing researchers to enhance performance levels of existing materials and create new materials not possible by any other methods.

One of the MBE systems in the new laboratory is dedicated to compound semiconductors, whilst the other two systems are capable of producing a wide range of oxides, nitrides and other complex materials. This capability will facilitate innovation in a range of high-impact and emerging research areas, including: quantum sciences and engineering; clean energy conversion technologies, such as solar cells, thermoelectrics and fuel cell technologies; advanced electronics and optoelectronics, such as Terahertz emitters and detectors; and new materials for spintronic devices, sensing and memory technologies.

The flagship tools in the laboratory were funded under the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) program, and the laboratory is operated via support from NCRIS. This support includes provision of highly skilled technical personnel to operate the complex machinery and provide expertise in material development to researchers.