Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Measuring Progress in Nanotech Design

05.09.2013
Drexel-Led Team Uses Laser Spectroscopy to Size-Up Band Offset

Engineers working in the nanoscale will have a new tool at their disposal thanks to an international group of researchers led by Drexel University’s College of Engineering.


Drexel University

Key mechanisms of the measurement process are illustrated in this electron microscope image of the nanowire device.

This innovative procedure could alleviate the persistent challenge of measuring key features of electron behavior while designing the ever-shrinking components that allow cell phones, laptops and tablets to get increasingly thinner and more energy efficient.

“The interface between two semiconductor materials enables most of the electronic gadgets we use each day, from computers to mobile phones, displays and solar cells,” said Guannan Chen, a graduate student in Drexel’s Materials Science and Engineering department and the lead author of the group’s report, which was recently published in Nano Letters. “One of the most important features of the interface is the height of the energy step required for the electron to climb over, known as band offset. Current methods for measuring this step height in planar devices are not practical for nanoscale devices, however, so we set off to find a better way to make this measurement.”

Measuring the band offset faced by electrons jumping from one material to another is a key component of the design process because it guides the redesign and prototyping of nanoscale components in order to make them as efficient and effective as possible.

Using laser-induced current in a nanowire device and its dependence on the wavelength of the laser, the team devised a new method to derive the band offset. As they continuously change the wavelength of the laser, they measure the photocurrent responses. From this data they are able to determine the band offset.

“Using the interface within a co-axial core-shell semiconductor nanowire as a model system, we made direct measurements of the band offset for the first time in nanowire electronics,” Chen said. “This is a significant cornerstone to freely design new nanowire devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and high speed electronics for wireless communications. This work can also extend to broader material systems which can be tailored for specific application.”

The study, which was funded primarily by the National Science Foundation, also included researchers from Lehigh University, National Research Council – Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems (IMM-CNR) and the University of Salento in Italy, Weizmann Institute of Science and Negev Nuclear Research Center in Israel and the University of Alabama. Each group added a key component to the project.

“Teamwork and close collaborations are essential in this work,” said Guan Sun, the lead researcher from Lehigh. “The smooth channel of sharing ideas and experiment resources is valuable within the team because the quality and variety of the material system is vital to achieving accurate results.”

While Drexel’s members designed the experiments, processed the materials, made the nanowire device and conducted spectroscopic experiments, Sun and Yujie Ding, from Lehigh, supported the research with complementary optical experiments.

The collaborators from the IMM-CNR, Paola Prete, and the University of Salento, Ilio Miccoli and Nico Lovergine joined forces with Hadas Shtrikman, from Weizmann Institute of Science to produce the high quality nanowire used in the testing. Patrick Kung, from the University of Alabama, analyzed the composition of the nanowire at the atomic level, and Tsachi Livneh, of Negev Nuclear Research Center, contributed to the analyses.

“This remarkably simple approach to obtaining a key characteristic in individual nanowires is an exciting advance,” said Dr. Jonathan Spanier, a professor in Drexel’s College of Engineering who is the lead investigator of the project. “We anticipate it will be a valuable method as we develop nanoscale electronic devices having completely new and important functionalities.”

With a better understanding of the material and electron behavior, the team will continue to pursue novel nanoscale optoelectronic devices such as new-concept transistors, electron-transfer devices and photovoltaic devices.

News media contacts:
Britt Faulstick, news officer, Office of University Communications, Drexel University

215-895-2617 (office), 215-796-5161 (cell), britt.faulstick@drexel.edu

Britt Faulstick | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.drexel.edu

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world
08.02.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS

nachricht New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components
23.01.2017 | Evonik Industries AG

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>