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Superconductivity, Spintronics and Surface Science Center

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The Center of Superconductivity, Spintronics and Surface Science (C4S) includes the former Material Science Laboratory, created in 1995 within the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (TUCN).

The research activity of the C4S is oriented along several entangled axes: Superconductivity, Spintronics, Materials Chemistry and Surface science. The research center has a longstanding expertize in superconducting, dielectric and magnetic thin films grown both by physical and chemical methods. A major research topic of C4S relates to the YBa2Cu3O7-x (YBCO) high temperature coated conductors fabrication technology comprising the chemical methods for the epitaxial deposition of YBCO superconducting films and oxide buffer layers on Ni-based biaxially textured substrates. Modern issues related to magnetic pinning and proximity effects at the interface between a superconductor and ferromagnetic nanostructure are currently addressed.  Over the last ten years, a newer research axis has been strongly developed. It concerns the research and development in the top scientific and technological field of Nanomagnetism and Spintronics. Using its own facilities related to: multilayer thin film elaboration, micro and nano-lithography clean-room technologies, structural, topological and magneto-electric characterization in variable field and temperature, the center produces and studies spintronic devices with tailored functional properties. They respond to specific requests of modern, cutting-edge sensors and data storage technologies and are based on magnetoresistance effects and on recent challenging spin-orbitronic, electric field and optical manipulation of magnetization approaches. Moreover, modern convergent issues at the frontier between superconductivity and spintronics are addressed for superconducting spintronics perspectives and new generation of high sensitive sensors for various applications fields from biomedicine to nonvolatile data storage. Concerning the material chemistry axis, involving versatile chemical elaboration methods based on precursors solutions, the center is able to synthetize a large area of complex materials based on metals and oxides for various applications: energy engineering, optoelectronics, biomedical (drug delivery), sensors and information technologies.  Surface Science research axis deals with analysis of low dimensional systems from thin films, to surfaces, interfaces and nanometric size patterned structures. Focused researches are based on specific surface analysis tools: from surface spectrocopies (Auger), structural (electron diffraction), morphological (Atomic Force Microscopy) to NMR techniques.

The center is equipped in thin films elaboration techniques (sputtering plant, e-beam evaporator, and various chemical methods), structural, chemical and magnetic characterization (Auger Electron Spectroscopy, High Resolution X-ray Diffraction, variable temperature Vibrating Sample magnetometer, magneto-transport characterization (four probe room-temperature and 1.8-300K, 8T cryogen free system). Analysis facilities are completed by a Nanoscope IV system fully equipped with AFM, MFM, EFM, CAFM options which enable local characterization of various local properties:  morphology, micromagnetism, ferroelectricity, electronic transport. Moreover, a 100 class clean room is fully functionalized for optical lithography facilities. It is equipped with MBJ4 UV mask aligner, photo-resist spinner, baking hot-plate, chemical glove-box, optical microscopy analysis.

The center is continuously involved in national and European research projects on various funding frameworks: Exploratory Ideas, Complex Exploratory Ideas, Independent Young Researcher Teams, EURATOM, FP7. The center has fruitful collaboration with national and international laboratories: ENEA Frascati (Italy), Lorraine University (IJL Nancy, France), Strasbourg University (IPCMS), Grenoble University (Neel Institute, SPINTEC), Paris XIII Sorbona University, Autonomous University of Madrid, ICMAB Barcelona, (Spain), Imperial College London, Technical University Ilmenau (Germany).