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Epitaxy of group IV optical materials and synthesis of IV/III-V semiconductor analogs by designer hydride chemistries

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The thesis studies new methods to fabricate optoelectronic Ge1-ySny/Si(100) alloys and investigate their photoluminescence (PL) properties for possible applications in Si-based photonics including IR lasers. The work initially investigated the origin of the difference between the PL spectrum of bulk

The thesis studies new methods to fabricate optoelectronic Ge1-ySny/Si(100) alloys and investigate their photoluminescence (PL) properties for possible applications in Si-based photonics including IR lasers. The work initially investigated the origin of the difference between the PL spectrum of bulk Ge, dominated by indirect gap emission, and the PL spectrum of Ge-on-Si films, dominated by direct gap emission. It was found that the difference is due to the supression of self-absorption effects in Ge films, combined with a deviation from quasi-equilibrium conditions in the conduction band of undoped films. The latter is confirmed by a model suggesting that the deviation is caused by the shorter recombination lifetime in the films relative to bulk Ge. The knowledge acquired from this work was then utilized to study the PL properties of n-type Ge1-ySny/Si (y=0.004-0.04) samples grown via chemical vapor deposition of Ge2H6/SnD4/P(GeH3)3. It was found that the emission intensity (I) of these samples is at least 10x stronger than observed in un-doped counterparts and that the Idir/Iind ratio of direct over indirect gap emission increases for high-Sn contents due to the reduced gamma-L valley separation, as expected. Next the PL investigation was expanded to samples with y=0.05-0.09 grown via a new method using the more reactive Ge3H8 in place of Ge2H6. Optical quality, 1-um thick Ge1-ySny/Si(100) layers were produced using Ge3H10/SnD4 and found to exhibit strong, tunable PL near the threshold of the direct-indirect bandgap crossover. A byproduct of this study was the development of an enhanced process to produce Ge3H8, Ge4H10, and Ge5H12 analogs for application in ultra-low temperature deposition of Group-IV semiconductors. The thesis also studies synthesis routes of an entirely new class of semiconductor compounds and alloys described by Si5-2y(III-V)y (III=Al, V= As, P) comprising of specifically designed diamond-like structures based on a Si parent lattice incorporating isolated III-V units. The common theme of the two thesis topics is the development of new mono-crystalline materials on ubiquitous silicon platforms with the objective of enhancing the optoelectronic performance of Si and Ge semiconductors, potentially leading to the design of next generation optical devices including lasers, detectors and solar cells.

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Date Created
2013

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Structural characterization and optical properties of Group IV semiconductor alloys

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ABSTRACT This thesis focuses on structural characterizations and optical properties of Si, Ge based semiconductor alloys. Two material systems are characterized: Si-based III-V/IV alloys, which represent a possible pathway to augment the optical performance of elemental silicon as a solar

ABSTRACT This thesis focuses on structural characterizations and optical properties of Si, Ge based semiconductor alloys. Two material systems are characterized: Si-based III-V/IV alloys, which represent a possible pathway to augment the optical performance of elemental silicon as a solar cell absorber layer, and Ge-based Ge1-ySny and Ge1-x-ySixSny systems which are applicable to long wavelength optoelectronics. Electron microscopy is the primary tool used to study structural properties. Electron Energy Loss spectroscopy (EELS), Ellipsometry, Photoluminescence and Raman Spectroscopy are combined to investigate electronic band structures and bonding properties. The experiments are closely coupled with structural and property modeling and theory. A series of III-V-IV alloys have been synthesized by the reaction of M(SiH3)3 (M = P, As) with Al atoms from a Knudsen cell. In the AlPSi3 system, bonding configurations and elemental distributions are characterized by scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM)/EELS and correlated with bulk optical behavior. The incorporation of N was achieved by addition of N(SiH3)3 into the reaction mixture yielding [Al(As1-xNx)]ySi5-2yalloys. A critical point analysis of spectroscopic ellipsometry data reveals the existence of direct optical transitions at energies as low as 2.5 eV, well below the lowest direct absorption edge of Si at 3.3 eV. The compositional dependence of the lowest direct gap and indirect gap in Ge1-ySny alloys extracted from room temperature photoluminescence indicates a crossover concentration of yc =0.073, much lower than virtual crystal approximation but agrees well with large atomic supercells predictions. A series of Ge-rich Ge1-x-ySixSny samples with a fixed 3-4% Si content and progressively increasing Sn content in the 4-10% range are grown and characterized by electron microscopy and photoluminescence. The ternary represents an attractive alternative to Ge1-ySny for applications in IR optoelectronic technologies.

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Date Created
2014

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Synthesis of hybrid (III-V)y(IV)5-2y semiconductors: a new approach to extending the optoelectronic capabilities of Si and Ge technologies

Description

Modern semiconductor technologies have been dominated by group-IV materials and III-V analogues. The development of hybrid derivatives combining appropriate members of these systems has been of interest for the purpose of extending the optoelectronic capabilities of the state-of-the-art. Early work

Modern semiconductor technologies have been dominated by group-IV materials and III-V analogues. The development of hybrid derivatives combining appropriate members of these systems has been of interest for the purpose of extending the optoelectronic capabilities of the state-of-the-art. Early work on pseudo-binary (III-V)-IV alloys, described with the general formula (III-V)1-x(IV2)x,

showed limited progress due to phase segregation, auto-doping and compositional inhomogeneities. Recently, new techniques were introduced for synthesizing new classes of (III-V)-IV hybrid materials using reactions of V(IVH3)3 molecules [V = N, P, As and IV = Si, Ge] with group-III elements (B, Al, Ga, In). The reactions produce (III-V)-IV3 building blocks that interlink to form diamond-like

frameworks in which the III-V pairs incorporate as isolated units within the group-IV lattice. This approach not only precludes phase segregation, but also provides access to structures and compositions unattainable by conventional means. Entire new families of crystalline (III-V)-IV3 and (III-V)y(IV)5-y alloys with tunable IV-rich compositions, different from conventional (III-V)1-x(IV2)x systems, have been grown on Si(100) and GaP(100) wafers as well as Si1-xGex and Ge buffer layers which, in most cases, provide lattice matched templates for Si integration.

In this work, materials in the In-P-Ge, Ga-As-Ge and Ga-P-Si systems that would exhibit direct-gap behavior were targeted. A series of (InP)yGe5-2y alloys with tunable Ge contents above 60% were synthesized by reactions of P(GeH3)3 and indium atoms and were studied for bonding, structure, and optical response. (GaAs)yGe5-2y analogues were also grown and exhibited strong photoluminescence for applications in mid-IR photonics. The GaPSi3 alloy and Si-rich derivatives were produced via reactions of P(SiH3)3 and [H2GaNMe2]2 and exhibit enhanced absorption in the visible range. Quaternary analogues in the Al1-xBxPSi3 system were grown on Si via reactions of Al(BH4)3 and P(SiH3)3 leading to the formation crystalline materials with extended absorption relative to Si. This makes them imminently suitable for applications in Si-based photovoltaics. The work emphasized use of quantum-chemical simulations to elucidate structural, thermodynamic, and mechanical properties of the synthesized systems. The theory also included simulations of new synthetic targets such as BNC3, BNSi3, BPC3, and BPSi3 with interesting mechanical properties and strong covalent bonding.

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2017

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Chemical vapor deposition of metastable germanium based semiconductors for optoelectronic applications

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Optoelectronic and microelectronic applications of germanium-based materials have received considerable research interest in recent years. A novel method for Ge on Si heteroepitaxy required for such applications was developed via molecular epitaxy of Ge5H12. Next, As(GeH3)3, As(SiH3)3, SbD3, S(GeH3)2 and

Optoelectronic and microelectronic applications of germanium-based materials have received considerable research interest in recent years. A novel method for Ge on Si heteroepitaxy required for such applications was developed via molecular epitaxy of Ge5H12. Next, As(GeH3)3, As(SiH3)3, SbD3, S(GeH3)2 and S(SiH3)2 molecular sources were utilized in degenerate n-type doping of Ge. The epitaxial Ge films produced in this work incorporate donor atoms at concentrations above the thermodynamic equilibrium limits. The donors are nearly fully activated, and led to films with lowest resistivity values thus far reported.

Band engineering of Ge was achieved by alloying with Sn. Epitaxy of the alloy layers was conducted on virtual Ge substrates, and made use of the germanium hydrides Ge2H6 and Ge3H8, and the Sn source SnD4. These films exhibit stronger emission than equivalent material deposited directly on Si, and the contributions from the direct and indirect edges can be separated. The indirect-direct crossover composition for Ge1-ySny alloys was determined by photoluminescence (PL). By n-type doping of the Ge1-ySny alloys via P(GeH3)3, P(SiH3)3 and As(SiH3)3, it was possible to enhance photoexcited emission by more than an order-of-magnitude.

The above techniques for deposition of direct gap Ge1-ySny alloys and doping of Ge were combined with p-type doping methods for Ge1-ySny using B2H6 to fabricate pin heterostructure diodes with active layer compositions up to y=0.137. These represent the first direct gap light emitting diodes made from group IV materials. The effect of the single defected n-i¬ interface in a n-Ge/i-Ge1-ySny/p-Ge1-zSnz architecture on electroluminescence (EL) was studied. This led to lattice engineering of the n-type contact layer to produce diodes of n-Ge1-xSnx/i-Ge1-ySny/p-Ge1-zSnz architecture which are devoid of interface defects and therefore exhibit more efficient EL than the previous design. Finally, n-Ge1-ySny/p-Ge1-zSnz pn junction devices were synthesized with varying composition and doping parameters to investigate the effect of these properties on EL.

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Date Created
2016

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The optical and electronic properties of Ge₁-ySny and Ge₁-x-ySixSny materials and devices for silicon integrated optoelectronics

Description

Group-IV semiconductor alloys are of interest for Si-integrated optoelectronic applications due to the band gap tunability and enhanced optical capabilities that can be achieved through compositional tuning. This work advances the field by presenting a systematic study of the optical

Group-IV semiconductor alloys are of interest for Si-integrated optoelectronic applications due to the band gap tunability and enhanced optical capabilities that can be achieved through compositional tuning. This work advances the field by presenting a systematic study of the optical and electronic properties of Ge1-ySny and analogous Ge1-x-ySixSny alloys.

The fundamental direct and indirect band gaps of Ge1-ySny materials are measured by room temperature photoluminescence in samples containing 0 ≤ y ≤ 0.11 and a transition to direct gap materials is found to occur at yc = 0.087. This result is enabled by the development of sample growth and processing protocols that produce high-quality materials epitaxially on Ge-buffered Si(100) substrates. Strategies to optimize the optical performance are explored by varying the film thickness, thermal and surface treatments, and n-type doping. The electrical and optical properties of diodes based on these materials are characterized by current-voltage, optical responsivity, and electroluminescence measurements. These show improved optical performance near yc with tunable emission out to 2500 nm. Measuring the carrier lifetimes in devices with strain relaxed and fully strained interfaces show significantly longer lifetimes in the fully strained case.

The direct and indirect band gaps of Sn-rich (y > x) Ge1-x-ySixSny materials are measured by room temperature photoluminescence on optimized samples. These data confirm a transition to direct gap materials occurs for the ternary alloy as well. Devices based on compositions 0.02 ≤ x ≤ 0.10 and 0.03 ≤ y ≤ 0.11 are characterized by current-voltage, optical responsivity, and electroluminescence measurements and show competitive performance with analogous devices based on Ge1-ySny materials. A detailed study of the direct gap in Ge1-xSix alloys gives parameters crucial en route to a global description of the Ge1-x-ySixSny fundamental band gaps.

Archetypal laser device designs on Si are explored by fabricating degenerate pn junction diodes and highly doped waveguide devices based on high-quality Ge1-ySny materials. The diodes showed tunnel-like current-voltage characteristics and tailored electroluminescence based on the doping profile. The waveguides demonstrate emission under optical stimulation.

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Date Created
2015

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Evaluation of k4-diimine nickel and cobalt hydrofunctionalization catalysts

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The search for highly active, inexpensive, and earth abundant replacements for existing transition metal catalysts is ongoing. Our group has utilized several redox non-innocent ligands that feature flexible arms with donor substituents. These ligands allow for coordinative flexibility about the

The search for highly active, inexpensive, and earth abundant replacements for existing transition metal catalysts is ongoing. Our group has utilized several redox non-innocent ligands that feature flexible arms with donor substituents. These ligands allow for coordinative flexibility about the metal centre, while the redox non-innocent core helps to overcome the one electron chemistry that is prevalent in first row transition metals. This dissertation focuses on the use of Ph2PPrDI, which can adopt a κ4-configuration when bound to a metal. One reaction that is industrially useful is hydrosilylation, which allows for the preparation of silicones that are useful in the lubrication, adhesive, and cosmetics industries. Typically, this reaction relies on highly active, platinum-based catalysts. However, the high cost of this metal has inspired the search for base metal replacements. In Chapter One, an overview of existing alkene and carbonyl hydrosilylation catalysts is presented. Chapter Two focuses on exploring the reactivity of (Ph2PPrDI)Ni towards carbonyl hydrosilylation, as well as the development of the 2nd generation catalysts, (iPr2PPrDI)Ni and (tBu2PPrDI)Ni. Chapter Three presents a new C-O bond hydrosilylation reaction for the formation of silyl esters. It was found the (Ph2PPrDI)Ni is the most active catalyst in the literature for this transformation, with turnover frequencies of up to 900 h-1. Chapter Four explores the activity and selectivity of (Ph2PPrDI)Ni for alkene hydrosilylation, including the first large scope of gem-olefins for a nickel-based catalyst. Chapter Five explores the chemistry of (Ph2PPrDI)CoH, first through electronic structure determinations and crystallography, followed by an investigation of its reactivity towards alkyne hydroboration and nitrile dihydroboration. (Ph2PPrDI)CoH is the first reported cobalt nitrile dihydroboration catalyst.

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Date Created
2018