In the AMM&NS programme, emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of the selection, processing and property-optimisation of a wide array of materials and material combinations. These new materials and technologies will facilitate the development of micro- and nano-systems of ultra-high performance, consisting of electronic and optoelectronic devices for application in information transmission, processing, storage and electromechanical actuation.
Currently, the AMM&NS programme has 18 Ph.D. students and has graduated 5 Ph.D. and 13 M.Eng. students. One of the many research topics being investigated involves the use of heteroepitaxial SiGe films on Si substrates for fabrication of multi-mode interference optical filters. The application of strained Si films on SiGe substrates is also under investigation for the fabrication of CMOS devices. Silicidation processes of Ni on SiGe films have been examined for future metallisation on devices fabricated on such substrates. Research is being carried out on circuit-level assessments of the reliability of advanced metallisation technology for 0.1 and 0.18micron technologies, including Cu-based metallurgies and low-k dielectric materials. The development of processes for the growth of piezoelectric (PZT) films on Si microelectromechanical devices to serve as “active” materials for actuation is also under investigation. Metallic glasses obtained through rapid quenching from melt as well as their applications in high frequency cores in electronics and as the electrolyte medium and electrodes for high power and energy density rechargeable micro-batteries, are also being studied. New projects on the role of graded InGaN buffers for strain relaxation in InGaN/GaN epilayers, the growth of germanium nano-crystals and their applications in electronic devices, dislocations and their effects on the electroluminescence and photoluminescence emissions of III-Nitrides and in micro-cavity LEDs and lasers as well as the structural evolution of growth of III-nitrides on silicon are currently underway.
The successful research and co-supervision collaborations have involved both Singapore and MIT faculties and students who share common research interests as well as complementary expertise and capabilities. This has led to more than 25 joint publications in premier journals and award-winning research by SMA students. Most importantly, it has stimulated regular interaction through video conferencing and on-site visits, not only among supervisors and students, but with other members of their extended research groups in Singapore and Cambridge. These collaborations have also expanded to encompass research institutes and industry in both Singapore and the United States.