Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Materials with potential / Growing through holes

21.05.2010
Silicon carbide is an up-and-coming semiconductor material. In a thesis project, the qualities of the crystals and the epitaxial layers underwent precise analysis. Another project combines the advantages of crystalline thin-film solar cells with a back contact structure.

Silicon carbide (4H-SiC) is the ideal semiconductor material for power electronics. For instance, efficient power converters for electric vehicles or photovoltaic systems can be produced - as well as electronics that work at high temperatures. Until now, however, very few electron devices made of silicon carbide are on the market.

The reason for this: The quality of the crystals and epitaxial layers is not yet sufficient for the demanding applications because even the slightest material defects, in form of dislocations, can lead to a malfunction of the component. Dislocations are deviations from the ideal crystal lattice structure, which may occur in different types.

In his thesis project, „Structural defect characterization of 4H-SiC substrates and epitaxial layers using x-ray topography and x-ray diffractometry," Sebastian Polster of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB studied these dislocations. He compared the type and number of these crystalline defects using x-ray images that he recorded with the ANKA synchrotron source, with images that were prepared using the conventional etching technique in the laboratory. In this manner, he succeeded in depicting the limits of the established characterization method. The results of this method can now be interpreted with certainty. This is an important basis in order to improve the material regarding the avoidance of critical dislocation types in the material, so that electron devices based on SiC can dominate their market. In recognition of his accomplishments, Sebastian Polster is awarded the 2nd Hugo Geiger Prize.

Growing through holes

An important objective of solar cell research is to produce photovoltaic modules inexpensively, in order to make the power it produces competitive with conventional energy resources. One potential concept to achieve this is the use of crystalline thin-film solar cells, which come from a very thin layer of the expensive, ultrapure silicon. Another option can be found in solar cells whose current-collecting contacts are situated only on the back side of the solar cells, laden with via holes.. Physicist Nils Brinkmann of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE showed in his thesis project, „Epitaxy through holes: Process development and characterization," how the advantages of both varieties can be brought together.

One decisive factor in the new cell concept: minute via holes. The epitaxial layers grow through these on both sides of the thin silicon substrate. This completely new approach was developed by Nils Brinkmann with the aid of Simulations that he then applied in a production process. In addition, he showed how the degree of efficiency of the new solar cells can be further optimized. Nils Brinkmann is awarded the 3rd Hugo Geiger Prize.

Sebastian Polster | Fraunhofer Mediendienst
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2010/05/material-with-potential.jsp

Further reports about: 4H-SiC Silicon Valley electric vehicle photovoltaic system solar cells

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Melting solid below the freezing point
23.01.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

nachricht An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk
20.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>