The subject of this core research area is the fabrication of novel types of crystalline thin films and nanostructures and the investigation of fundamental growth mechanisms. The perspective of such samples is to enable the investigation of exciting physical phenomena or to offer new tailored functionalities that may inspire innovative devices. For the desirable high level of control over fabrication it is mandatory to understand the underlying growth mechanisms. Moreover, these mechanisms are often highly fascinating by themselves.

The samples that we aim to fabricate are novel in at least one of the following aspects:

  • A material of this chemical composition has not been synthesized before, or at least not in this crystalline quality and/or chemical purity.
  • Different materials are monolithically integrated to form an unprecedented hybrid structure.
  • A known material or combination of materials is structured on the nanoscale in a new way, i.e. the sample is shaped in at least one dimension to a new type of geometry, or a heterostructure of exceptional complexity or precision is created.

Our research is based on the long-standing expertise of PDI in the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) of III-As and III-N compound semiconductors, but more and more we investigate the growth of other materials. Characteristic for many studies is the use of novel substrates or extending the range of compositions over which films can be grown in high quality. In some cases, we extend the limits of what is possible with MBE and pioneer its use for certain materials. The close collaboration with the core research area Nanoanalytics is indispensable for the successful fabrication of nanostructures.