In a joint project between the Technology Foundation STW and the energy agency Novem at Utrecht University, researchers have developed new silicon layers which are more stable and cheaper than the present amorphous silicon layers. The electronic properties of the present layers in laptop screens and solar cells deteriorate if the material is under ‘stress’, for example due to sunshine or a voltage.
Flat-panel displays and solar cells have a substrate of glass or plastic, which is coated with a thin layer of amorphous silicon. The silicon layer is a semiconductor which, under the influence of a brief local voltage, becomes conductive for a fraction of a second. This property makes it possible to create a potential difference via the amorphous silicon which addresses separate pixels in an active-matrix LCD display. However, the disadvantage of amorphous silicon is its instability. The threshold voltage needed to make the silicon conducting, changes if a prolonged gate voltage is applied. This is the case in thin film transistors, the devices which address the pixels in a flat-panel display. The microscopic mechanism of this ‘metastability’ is still not understood. Accordingly the application of amorphous silicon for thin film transistors in flat-panel displays and solar cells has not yet reached its full potential.
In the research project from STW and Novem, the Utrecht researchers tried to improve the electronic material properties of the silicon layers. They developed silicon layers which are more stable than the commonly used layers of amorphous silicon. By means of a simple method, hot-wire chemical vapour deposition, they also managed to deposit this layer at a rate ten times higher than conventional techniques. This considerably reduces the production costs of flat-panel displays and solar cells. This could be interesting for manufacturers of displays and solar cells and for the semiconductor industry.
For further information please contact Dr Bernd Stannowski (Debye Institute, Utrecht University), tel. + 31(0) 30 2532964, fax +31 (0)30 2543165, e-mail email@example.com. Information is also available on the Internet at www1.phys.uu.nl/wwwgf. The doctoral thesis was defended on 27 February 2002. Mr Stannowski’s supervisors were Prof. R.E.I. Schropp and Prof. W.F. van der Weg.
Michel Philippens | alphagalileo
Cloud technology: Dynamic certificates make cloud service providers more secure
15.01.2018 | Technische Universität München
New discovery could improve brain-like memory and computing
10.01.2018 | University of Minnesota
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered a mechanism that amplifies the autoimmune reaction in an early stage of pancreatic islet autoimmunity prior to the progression to clinical type 1 diabetes. If the researchers blocked the corresponding molecules, the immune system was significantly less active. The study was conducted under the auspices of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and was published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common metabolic disease in childhood and adolescence. In this disease, the body's own immune system attacks and destroys the...
15.01.2018 | Event News
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
15.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.01.2018 | Life Sciences
15.01.2018 | Life Sciences