What has the ATTRACT seed funding enabled you to do so far?
The ATTRACT funding allowed us a scientific breakthrough that we try to transform in technological one. We strained a semiconductor membrane at an unprecedent area scale for such a level. We obtained this result with a very simple apparatus. The nice aspect of this finding is its generic aspect. Many semiconductors and perovskite materials could be strained the same way for discovering new physical properties.
What challenges have you faced so far?
The main challenges faced in our project so far were related to the technical strategy. We had to turn around a long-lasting habit of false thinking. We adopted an apparently counter-intuitive strategy based on the solvation of a series of unsuccessful experiments over the past years. We attempted a new experiment based on an intuition finally empirically proved.
Where does your ATTRACT journey go from here?
The main challenge in front of us resides in the ability to bond the strained membrane toward a host substrate. This would allow to use this transformed material for making new devices. As a main application for ATTRACT we target to transform nitride semiconductors for allowing electroluminescence on the full visible range, from blue to red colours. This would unlock potential use of InGaN alloy for producing new kinds of screens for virtual reality and other fields. The optical properties, lifetime and energy efficiency would be highly enhanced.
Sum up in two sentences the advantages of the ATTRACT Programme over other research funding schemes.
Its simplicity makes the application attracting for researchers. For projects at the basic level of the prove of concept, the high latitude in the way of using the ATTRACT funding is very convenient.