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Tuning the electronic properties of nanoscale semiconductors

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Nanoscale semiconductors with their unique properties and potential applications have been a focus of extensive research in recent years. There are many ways in which semiconductors change the world with

Nanoscale semiconductors with their unique properties and potential applications have been a focus of extensive research in recent years. There are many ways in which semiconductors change the world with computers, cell phones, and solar panels, and nanoscale semiconductors having a promising potential to expand the efficiency, reduce the cost, and improve the flexibility and durability of their design. In this study, theoretical quantum mechanical simulations were performed on several different nanoscale semiconductor materials, including graphene/phosphorene nanoribbons and group III-V nanowires. First principles density functional theory (DFT) was used to study the electronic and structural properties of these nanomaterials in their fully relaxed and strained states. The electronic band gap, effective masses of charge carriers, electronic orbitals, and density of states were most commonly examined with strain, both from intrinsic and external sources. For example, armchair graphene nanoribbons (AGNR) were found to have unprecedented band gap-strain dependence. Phosphorene nanoribbons (PNRs) demonstrate a different behavior, including a chemical scissors effect, and studies revealed a strong relationship between passivation species and band gap tunability. Unlike the super mechanical flexibility of AGNRs and PNRs which can sustain incredible strain, modest yet large strain was applied to group III-V nanowires such as GaAs/InAs. The calculations showed that a direct and indirect band gap transition occurs at some critical strains and the origination of these gap transitions were explored in detail. In addition to the pure nanowires, GaAs/InAs core/shell heterostructure nanowires were also studied. Due to the lattice mismatch between GaAs and InAs, the intrinsic strain in the core/shell nanowires demonstrates an interesting behavior on tuning the electronic properties. This interesting behavior suggests a mechanical way to exert compressive strain on nanowires experimentally, and can create a finite quantum confinement effect on the core.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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From materials to devices: (I) Ultrathin flexible implantable bio-probes with biodegradable sacrificial layers : (II) Carrier spin injection and transport in diamond

Description

My research has been focusing on the innovations of material and structure designs, and the development of fabrication processes of novel nanoelectronics devices.

My first project addresses the long-existing challenge

My research has been focusing on the innovations of material and structure designs, and the development of fabrication processes of novel nanoelectronics devices.

My first project addresses the long-existing challenge of implantable neural probes, where high rigidity and high flexibility for the probe need to be satisfied at the same time. Two types of probes that can be used out of the box have been demonstrated, including (1) a compact probe that spontaneously forms three-dimensional bend-up devices only after implantation, and (2) an ultra-flexible probe as thin as 2 µm attached to a small silicon shaft that can be accurately delivered into the tissue and then get fully released in situ without altering its shape and position as the support is fully retracted. This work provides a general strategy to prepare ultra-small and flexible implantable probes that allow high insertion accuracy and minimal surgical damages with best biocompatibility.

My second project focuses on the injection and characterization of carrier spins in single crystal diamond based nanoscale devices. The conventional diamond-based quantum information process that exploits nitrogen vacancy centers faces a major barrier of large scale communication. Electron/hole spin in diamond devices, on the other hand, could also be a good candidate for quantum computing due to the very small spin-orbit coupling and great coherent transport length of spin. To date, there has been no demonstration of carrier spin transport in diamond. In this work, I try to answer this fundamental question of how to inject and characterize electron spins in Boron doped diamond. Nanoscale diamond devices have been fabricated to investigate this question, including Hall bar device for material characterization, and lateral spin valve for injecting spin-polarized current into a mesoscopic diamond bar and detecting induced pure spin current. The preliminary results show signatures of spin transport in heavily doped diamond films.

Looking into the future, the knowledge we obtained in these two projects, including the strategy to integrate thin-film nanoelectronics devices on a flexible bio-probe configuration, and how to build spintronic devices with diamond structures, could be unified in the exploration of spin-based sensors in biological systems.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018