With this proposal the Physics Department at JKU applies for the further extension of the already established and successfully operating “NanoScience and Technology Center Linz (NSTL)” by requesting not yet available, and for all physics (and chemistry institutes) suitable infrastructure. The NSTL strategic direction, fully supported by the rector, has been representing the vision and mission for research and education in physics since 1990, for allocations and replacements of professors as well as for the renewal and extension of equipment during the last infrastructure activities and competitive project calls. Nanoscience and Technology is one of the university wide “fields of excellence”. The topic is also part of the “performance agreement in research and education” between the JKU and the Austrian Ministry of Science. The existing excellence is demonstrated by the large number of competitively acquired research projects which were developed and funded on the basis of the activities in the field of nanoscience: one SFB, three Nanoinitiative Austria projects, two NFNs and one PhD program, two START prizes, four CDLs, and about 30 FWF and EC projects.
The variety and interdisciplinarity of the NSTL is also displayed in the actual topical fields on which this application is based: Semiconductor Nanostructures, Nanocomposites and Polymers, Nanoparticles and Clusters, Thin Films, Surfaces and Interfaces and Biofunctional Surfaces and Membranes. To enhance the level of interdisciplinary exchange, JKU will install the Centre for Surface and Nano-Analytics as an intra-faculty research institute, which will be equipped with additional personal and technical resources. As part of this activity, additional infrastructure is being applied for in this proposal. During a brainstorming and discussion phase the following additional equipment was identified as utmost important to promote our scientific excellence and to serve at the same time in up to date teaching: a laser scanning confocal microscope with a single-photon counting fluorescence-lifetime extension, an AES/UPS upgrade of the already existing PEEM, a laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, an ESCA/XPS system, a spectroscopic ellipsometer with a spectral range of 17μm to 190 nm and a fast multi-mode atomic force microscope.