Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Next-Generation Semiconductors Synthesis

Aluminum Nitride Semiconductors Synthesized at Significantly Reduced Temperatures -- Described in the Journal "Applied Physics Letters"

Although silicon semiconductors are nearly universal in modern electronics, devices made from silicon have limitations—including that they cease to function properly at very high temperatures.

One promising alternative are semiconductors made from combinations of aluminum, gallium, and indium with nitrogen to form aluminum nitride (AlN), gallium nitride (GaN), and indium nitride (InN), which are stronger and more stable than their silicon counterparts, function at high temperatures, are piezoelectric (that is, generate voltage under mechanical force), and are transparent to, and can emit, visible light.

Conventional processes for producing AIN layers run at temperatures as high as 1150 degrees Celsius, and offer limited control over the thickness of the layers. Now a new technique, described in the AIP Publishing journal Applied Physics Letters, offers a way to produce high-quality AlN layers with atomic-scale thickness and at half the temperature of other methods.

Neeraj Nepal and colleagues of the United States Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. formed AIN layers using atomic layer epitaxy (ALE), in which materials are "grown," layer-by-layer, by sequentially employing two self-limiting chemical reactions onto a surface.

"For instance to grow aluminum nitride, you would inject a pulse of an aluminum precursor into the growth zone where it would coat all surfaces," explained Nepal. "After purging any excess aluminum precursor away, you would then ‘build’ the crystal by injecting a pulse of the nitrogen precursors into the growth zone, where it reacts with the aluminum precursor at the surface to form a layer of AlN. Then you’d purge any excess nitrogen and reaction products away and repeat the process."

With this process, the researchers produced a material with qualities similar to those synthesized at much higher temperatures, but under conditions that allow it to be integrated in new ways for the fabrication of devices for technologies such as transistors and switches.

The work, Nepal says, expands the potential for new advanced specialty materials that could be used, for example, in next-generation high-frequency radiofrequency electronics, such as those used for high-speed data transfer and cell phone services.

The article, "Epitaxial Growth of AlN Films via Plasma-assisted Atomic Layer Epitaxy" by N. Nepal, S. B. Qadri, J. K. Hite, N.A. Mahadik, M.A. Mastro, and C. R. Eddy, Jr. appears in the journal Applied Physics Letters. See:

Applied Physics Letters features concise, rapid reports on significant new findings in applied physics. The journal covers new experimental and theoretical research on applications of physics phenomena related to all branches of science, engineering, and modern technology. See:

Jason Socrates Bardi | Newswise
Further information:

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years
27.10.2016 | University of California - Los Angeles

nachricht 3-D-printed structures shrink when heated
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>