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What is EMPIR?

EMPIR means European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research

EMPIR coordinates research projects to address grand challenges, while supporting and developing the International System of measurement units.

EMPIR is focused on innovation activities to target the needs of industry and accelerate the uptake of research outputs.

The EMPIR programme enables European metrology institutes, academia, industrial and medical organisations to collaborate on a wide variety of joint research projects within several fields – energy, environment, health and industry.

EMPIR is an initiative of EURAMET, the European association of National Metrology Institutes, devoted to developing and disseminating an integrated, cost effective and internationally competitive measurement infrastructure for Europe.

What's the project goal?

The overall goal of this project is the traceable measurement and characterisation of energy harvesting devices based on vertical NW.

What about the goal requirements?

Large-scale approaches are required, that are beyond the capabilities of individual National Metrology Institutes and Designated Institutes.

What do researchers intend to develop and validate?

Scientist are working on the development of traceable measurement methods and models for:

  • high throughput nanomechanical characterisation of semiconductor NW solar cells and NW devices.

  • thermoelectrical characterisation.

The measurement supply chain – standards-developing organizations and end users (solar cell manufacturers and power generators) – they will take up easily both the technology and the measurement infrastructure developed in the project.

How to enhance the impact of the research?

The involvement of the appropriate user community such as industry, standardisation and regulatory bodies is intended, both prior, to, and during methodology development.

What about the project funding?

The 19ENG05 NanoWires project has received funding from the EMPIR programme co-financed by the Participating States and from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

How this project contributes to a more sustainable energy supply and consumption?

Scavenging energy from renewable sources like solar, waste heat and mechanical movement is seen as a prominent solution to our world energy problems. Energy harvesting system nanowire-based have gained tremendous interest and encouraging progress has been achieved.

Impact #1

The metrology will contribute:

  • to control the quality of newly developed devices for energy harvesting and storage

  • to promote and accelerate the development of new nanotechnologies to be used in the renewable energy industry.

This will strengthen Europe’s response to human-induced climate change. The competitiveness of the European semiconductor and energy industries will be improved, consequently.

The developed high throughput SPM (Scanning Probe Microscopy) techniques applied for ultrafast quality control of ultra-precision workpieces will enhance the competitiveness of European manufacturing industry.

Impact #2

New contact-based measurement modes will enable industry to simultaneously measure dimensions, electricity, thermal properties and mechanical properties of surfaces such as elasticity, hardness, viscosity, stress, friction and adhesion and thickness of nanomaterials.

Conductive AFM DC (direct current)-biased and Microwave (MW) simultaneously performed with Force Modulation AFM of various types, measurements of the electron beam induced currents (EBIC) and Cathodoluminescence (CL), has the strong potential to describe overall performance, unwanted loss mechanisms, optimal operating frequencies and aging within one device, and will certainly fit the need of upcoming industrial production.

Advanced diamond probe technology will provide the robustness and longevity, currently lacking from contact sensors today.