Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Vacuum science and materials for electronics

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.09.05  Engineering sciences and technologies  Electronic components and technologies  Vacuum technologies 
2.15.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Metrology   

Code Science Field
P180  Natural sciences and mathematics  Metrology, physical instrumentation 

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
2.02  Engineering and Technology  Electrical engineering, Electronic engineering, Information engineering 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (9)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  03975  PhD Igor Belič  Computer intensive methods and applications  Researcher  2016 - 2019 
2.  05673  PhD Bojan Erjavec  Electronic components and technologies  Retired researcher  2014 - 2019 
3.  03066  PhD Vincenc Nemanič  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2014 - 2019 
4.  17830  Janez Osredkar    Technical associate  2014 - 2018 
5.  32479  Makfir Sefa  Electronic components and technologies  Technical associate  2014 - 2016 
6.  04254  PhD Janez Šetina  Electronic components and technologies  Head  2014 - 2019 
7.  25498  PhD Barbara Šetina Batič  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2014 - 2019 
8.  38187  PhD Tim Verbovšek  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2015 - 2019 
9.  03366  Marko Žumer  Electronic components and technologies  Technical associate  2015 - 2019 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  18 
2.  0206  Institute of Metals and Technology  Ljubljana  5051622000 
Research program "Vacuum science and materials for electronics" is focused on research in vacuum science and technology, which is multidisciplinary field with applications in advanced industries like microelectronics, nanotechnologies, surface engineering, pharmaceutical industry etc, and in numerous research fields, which need vacuum environment (electron microscopy and surface science, particle accelerators, space research etc). A good understanding of relevant vacuum issues in materials and further development of vacuum metrology is crucial for new developments in these fields. Program is composed of research groups from two institutions: Institute of Metals and Technologies (IMT) and "Jožef Stefan" Institute (IJS). Both groups are linked together through basic problems of determination of composition of extremely small quantities of gases. This is a real challenge either for determination of physical processes on the surfaces or as metrological task of quantitative gas analysis. The program is of a great importance for Slovenian national metrological infrastructure, due to its accredited Laboratory of pressure metrology, which was recognized by Metrology Institute of the Republic of Slovenia as the holder of Slovenian national standards for vacuum and pressure. We will continue research of metrological properties of vacuum gauges and quadrupole mass spectrometers (QMS) with the aim to reduce uncertainties. We will study uncertainties of primary vacuum calibration methods by static and dynamic expansion of gases. For calibration of QMS and ionization gauges in XHV range and calibration of helium reference leaks we will investigate a primary "constant volume-variable pressure" method for generation of very low gas flows. Our investigations of vacuum materials will include study of permeation of gases in elastomers, reduction of hydrogen outgassing from stainless steel, outgassing of materials used in vacuum optoelectronics and use of getter materials to improve lifetime of sealed vacuum products (vacuum optoelectronic devices, MEMS packaging, vacuum thermal insulation). Our previous work was closely linked with European fusion program with the studies of interactions of hydrogen and deuterium with the metals relevant for ITER project. High relevance of these investigations is indicated through classification of our research proposals into »preferential support« topics. We will continue investigations of the effects of nano-structuring of layers of tungsten and beryllium on the tritium retention, which is one of basic problems of ITER project. New topic is research of gas desorption from filler materials for vacuum thermal insulation (VTI or vacuum insulation panels, VIPs). VTI was recognized as effective alternative to classical isolation materials, as it has 5 to 10 times lower thermal conductivity. Use of VTI has a potential of significant contribution to reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases.
Significance for science
All proposed fields of our research will reveal novel results which will be published in highly ranked international journals related to specified topic.   Our research on properties of selected vacuum gauges will enable increasing the measuring accuracy. In particular, the spinning rotor gauge (SRG) has been proved in vacuum metrology as highly stable and inert gauge in the range of pressure from 1e-3 mbar to 1e-6 mbar. In our former work it has been proved as the most suitable to follow pressure increase inside hermetically sealed chambers. By improving measuring accuracy together with lowering the measuring range we could substantially reduce detection limit in outgassing rate measurements as well as in permeation rate measurements when the gas accumulation method is applied.   Quantitative analysis of gases by quadrupole mass spectrometers (QMS) is possible only after a suitable calibration. The sensitivity factor for particular gas depends on several parameters of the QMS. In our research, we will focus on those parameters which critically influence the sensitivity factor and thus require a new calibration after any change. Our methods suitable for “in – situ” calibrations at our customers site will represent a relevant contribution to more accurate measurements of partial gas pressures in demanding vacuum technologies.   So far, getters were rarely applied in vacuum metrology. Our research will reveal how a suitable selection of getter materials enables improving measuring range of primary vacuum standards and reducing their measuring uncertainty. Substantial improvements are expected in metrology within extreme high vacuum range as well as in metrology of very small helium flows needed for calibration of helium leak detectors. Fusion is still one of the most promising options of humans to get relatively clean and almost unlimited source of energy. The first wall of ITER fusion reactor will be made of tungsten and beryllium which enable easier removal of tritium from the system. Anyway, tritium retention is still one of the least known issues and its accurate prediction will enable to prolong safe operation and reduce the risk at some unwanted event. Our research will be focused onto hydrogen interaction with Be and W and their alloys. This topic is a long term priority within EU fusion programme. Our experimental approach is studying long-term outgassing process and permeation through thin films made of Be/W deposited on Eurofer substrate. Another field of our research is related to desorption of gases from novel organic materials that are suitable as core materials in vacuum insulation panels, (VIPs). EU obligation to reduce carbon dioxide release in the near future is most easily realized by using more efficient vacuum insulation being 5-10 more efficient than classical insulation, like polymer foams and mineral fibers.
Significance for the country
From the proposed activities we expect novel results, which will be presented at well recognized international meetings. Besides this the program will contribute to education of professionals in the field of vacuum technology and advancement of vacuum science in Slovenia.   In the previous period the group members were very active in different international organizations and participated in organization of international meetings and workshops. These activities will be continued, which will contribute to the visibility of our national expert knowledge in the field of vacuum science and technology.   Group members from JSI are linked to EU fusion program. Up to now they performed research tasks very successfully. Their participation in the future will not be possible without national co-funding of their activities.   Collaboration of our group with Slovenian industry (Iskra-Zaščite, Melamin, Stirolab), which produces different vacuum devices was very successful in the previous period. We plan to continue collaboration with industrial partners on the same or even higher level.   The group is of a great importance for Slovenian national metrological infrastructure, due to its accredited Laboratory of pressure metrology, which is on the highest level in Slovenia. Laboratory was recognized as holder of Slovenian national standards for vacuum and pressure by Metrology institute of Republic of Slovenia (MIRS). The group provides traceability of pressure and vacuum to international level and disseminates this traceability with calibrations to lower hierarchical levels in Slovenian industry and other sectors. Laboratory currently performs 100 to 110 calibrations per year. Group also transfers its expert knowledge on vacuum and pressure measurements to users in Slovenian industry. Research collaboration with company “LOTRIČ Metrology” can be mentioned as an example. The laboratory’s best calibration and measurement capabilities (CMCs) are published in the database at BIPM "Bureau International des Poids et Measures" in Paris. This means that our calibration certificates are equivalent to certificates of any other national metrology institutes in the world. For Slovenian companies, which have their measuring equipment traceably calibrated in our lab, this also means easier demonstration of the quality of their products on the world market.   The achieved top position of Laboratory for pressure metrology in Slovenian national metrology system, as well as on the international level, demands an active role in the field of scientific metrology and cooperation with foreign national laboratories, proving its topmost qualification. Good research in metrology provides a foundation for international recognition of Slovenian national metrology system and for the confidence of other international organizations in our distributed metrology system.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
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