Reasons for the Action
Reasons for the Action
This COST Action is aimed at providing solutions to the current scientific and technical challenges at least in four different aspects (a-d), and to current economic/societal needs (e) within the area of device miniaturization:
- As systems are further miniaturized, the machining of their parts becomes more complicated. Thus, high-precision manufacturing of materials with specific properties (electric, magnetic, mechanical, etc.) is extremely challenging, especially with respect to industrial scalability.
- Many researchers have shifted their interests and efforts towards the synthesis of materials using recently developed techniques, such as molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and atomic layer deposition (ALD). However, these methods are often not cost-effective. Meanwhile, electrochemical techniques, such as electrodeposition of metals and electroless deposition or passivation, which are widely used at the industrial scale, remain unexploited in many areas of research.
- Electrochemical processing technologies combined with novel processes are mainly studied in specialized research groups with a modest interaction with other investigation lines. Thus, the network has identified a clear need to enhance the interaction between electrochemical processing research institutions and other technological investigators, companies, and associations.
- An important issue regarding small devices arises from the fact that miniaturization is usually accompanied by corrosion related issues. The electrochemical community has been intensively working to develop protective materials and durable coatings. This expertise must be directly transmitted to the micro- and nanotechnologists as well as to the industry.
- Electrochemical and surface finishing industries are rapidly settling down in Asia. Hence, the development and commercialization of novel electrosynthetic processes in Europe are urgently required to maintain European industrial competitiveness.
The subject is interdisciplinary comprising materials synthesis, structural and chemical analysis, functional characterization, theory and modeling, and device integration. Due to the rapid expansion and interdisciplinary nature of the electrochemical processing methodologies, the research community working on this subject remains fragmented on the European scale. In its role as the breeding ground for trans-sectorial multinational co-operation projects, this Action will deliver an optimal framework to set an effective platform for the establishment of win-win partnerships that are indispensable for European progress in device miniaturization.