Chemistry is fundamental to nanotechnology, as chemistry can prepare specifically tailored molecules to serve, bottom-up, as the building blocks for fabrication of functional nano-materials. Nanotechnology, in turn, has been hailed as the technology of the 21st century with applications from electronics to biotechnology and medicine. The next decade will thus be characterized by an increasing industrial demand for the creation of novel nanostructures whose individual physical and chemical properties can be tuned to specific applications. This in turn requires increased flexibility, and increased control over material composition, shape and resolution, providing the motivation to further advance nano-meter scale fabrication methods. To meet this demand, the underlying chemistry and the physics behind new and emerging nanoscale fabrication methods must be well understood. Moreover, this understanding must be systematically deployed to advance these methods into commercially viable nanofabrication technologies. Simultaneously the nanotechnology industry must have access to well-trained individuals with both the technical skills and broad understanding of the fundamental physical and chemical parameters governing the performance of next generation processing techniques and, last but not least, the skills and drive needed for further innovation and entrepreneurship.
The objectives of ELENA do not specifically relate to the production of specific nano-devices, but rather seek to train, through research, a group of ESRs skilled in the development of two emerging nano-fabrication methods; Focused Electron Beam Induced Processing FEBIP (with an emphasis on deposition FEBID) and Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUVL).