Acquired Electronics360

Semiconductors and Components

Layer-by-Layer Assembly of Semiconductor Films

21 September 2017

A method for fabricating stacks of semiconductors just a few atoms thick offers a simple, cost-effective route toA stack of films, shown in cross-section using an electron microscope. Each is only a few atoms thick. (Courtesy of Kang et. al.)A stack of films, shown in cross-section using an electron microscope. Each is only a few atoms thick. (Courtesy of Kang et. al.) making thin, uniform layers of these materials, which could expand capabilities for electronic devices from solar cells to cell phones.

The current approach to forming these layers is to “grow” them instead of stacking one on top of one another. In this process, bottom layers have to be subjected to harsh growth conditions such as high temperatures while the new ones are added. Requirements for such conditions limit the materials which can be used.

University of Chicago and Cornell University researchers instead made the films individually by placing them in a vacuum, peeling them off, and sticking them to one another. The Post-It note assembly process enabled development of films that are connected with weak instead of stronger covalent bonds, a property which interferes less with the perfect surfaces between layers.

To test their electrical properties, the films were fashioned into devices such as band-engineered heterostructure tunnel diodes and superlattice films with vertical compositions. Analyses show that these materials can be designed and tuned on an atomic scale, which could allow them to serve as an essential component in future computer chips.

The stacked films are detachable, suspendable and compatible with water or plastic surfaces, which will enable their integration with advanced optical and mechanical systems.

To contact the author of this article, email sue.himmelstein@ieeeglobalspec.com


Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the Engineering360
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Advertisement
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter
Advertisement

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date Event Location
23-27 Apr 2018 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
10 May 2018 Pier 94
22-24 May 2018 Los Angeles, CA
04-07 Jun 2018 Boston, MA
06-08 Jun 2018 Los Angeles, CA
Find Free Electronics Datasheets
Advertisement