Keywords: self assembly processing, nanostructured materials, nanodots, domain matching epitaxy, oriented nanostructures, epitaxial nanostructures, nanoscale characterisation, nanotechnology, thin film epitaxy, nanomaterials
New frontier in thin film epitaxy and nanostructured materials
Nanomaterials hold the key to the success of nanotechnology. This review starts with a new paradigm for thin film growth based upon matching of integral multiples of lattice planes across the film-substrate interface. This paradigm of domain matching epitaxy (DME) unifies small as well as large misfit systems utilising the concept of systematic domain variation. By controlling the kinetics of clustering and energetics of interfaces, it is possible to obtain nanoclusters of uniform size and create novel nanostructured materials by design, where relative orientation with respect to matrix can be controlled by DME. In nanostructured materials with unit dimensions 1?100 nm, science and processing challenges include self-assembly processing, control of interfacial atoms and energetics, quantum confinement issues, nanoscale structure-property correlations. In addition, metastability of interfaces should be controlled for reliability in manufacturing of nanosystems. This paper presents fundamentals of synthesis and processing of nanomaterials, role of interfaces, nanoscale characterisation to establish atomic structure-property correlations and modelling to create novel nanostructured structural, magnetic, photonic and electronic systems with unique and improved properties for next-generation systems with new functionality.