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Growth and characterization of novel thin films for microelectronic applications

Description

I studied the properties of novel Co2FeAl0.5Si0.5 (CFAS), ZnGeAs2, and FeS2 (pyrite) thin films for microelectronic applications ranging from spintronic to photovoltaic. CFAS is a half metal with theoretical spin polarization of 100%. I investigated its potential as a spin

I studied the properties of novel Co2FeAl0.5Si0.5 (CFAS), ZnGeAs2, and FeS2 (pyrite) thin films for microelectronic applications ranging from spintronic to photovoltaic. CFAS is a half metal with theoretical spin polarization of 100%. I investigated its potential as a spin injector, for spintronic applications, by studying the critical steps involved in the injection of spin polarized electron populations from tunnel junctions containing CFAS electrodes. Epitaxial CFAS thin films with L21 structure and saturation magnetizations of over 1200 emu/cm3 were produced by optimization of the sputtering growth conditions. Point contact Andreev reflection measurements show that the spin polarization at the CFAS electrode surface exceeds 70%. Analyses of the electrical properties of tunnel junctions with a superconducting Pb counter-electrode indicate that transport through native Al oxide barriers is mostly from direct tunneling, while that through the native CFAS oxide barriers is not. ZnGeAs2 is a semiconductor comprised of only inexpensive and earth-abundant elements. The electronic structure and defect properties are similar in many ways to GaAs. Thus, in theory, efficient solar cells could be made with ZnGeAs2 if similar quality material to that of GaAs could be produced. To understand the thermochemistry and determine the rate limiting steps of ZnGeAs2 thin-film synthesis, the (a) thermal decomposition rate and (b) elemental composition and deposition rate of films were measured. It is concluded that the ZnGeAs2 thin film synthesis is a metastable process with an activation energy of 1.08±0.05 eV for the kinetically-limited decomposition rate and an evaporation coefficient of ~10-3. The thermochemical analysis presented here can be used to predict optimal conditions of ZnGeAs2 physical vapor deposition and thermal processing. Pyrite (FeS2) is another semiconductor that has tremendous potential for use in photovoltaic applications if high quality materials could be made. Here, I present the layer-by-layer growth of single-phase pyrite thin-films on heated substrates using sequential evaporation of Fe under high-vacuum followed by sulfidation at S pressures between 1 mTorr and 1 Torr. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy reveals high-quality, defect-free pyrite grains were produces by this method. It is demonstrated that epitaxial pyrite layer was produced on natural pyrite substrates with this method.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Growth and characterization of pyrite thin films for photovoltaic applications

Description

A series of pyrite thin films were synthesized using a novel sequential evaporation

technique to study the effects of substrate temperature on deposition rate and micro-structure of

the deposited material. Pyrite was deposited in a monolayer-by-monolayer fashion using

sequential evaporation of Fe under

A series of pyrite thin films were synthesized using a novel sequential evaporation

technique to study the effects of substrate temperature on deposition rate and micro-structure of

the deposited material. Pyrite was deposited in a monolayer-by-monolayer fashion using

sequential evaporation of Fe under high vacuum, followed by sulfidation at high S pressures

(typically > 1 mTorr to 1 Torr). Thin films were synthesized using two different growth processes; a

one-step process in which a constant growth temperature is maintained throughout growth, and a

three-step process in which an initial low temperature seed layer is deposited, followed by a high

temperature layer, and then finished with a low temperature capping layer. Analysis methods to

analyze the properties of the films included Glancing Angle X-Ray Diffraction (GAXRD),

Rutherford Back-scattering Spectroscopy (RBS), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM),

Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS), 2-point IV measurements, and Hall effect

measurements. Our results show that crystallinity of the pyrite thin film improves and grain size

increases with increasing substrate temperature. The sticking coefficient of Fe was found to

increase with increasing growth temperature, indicating that the Fe incorporation into the growing

film is a thermally activated process.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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Development of a co-deposition method for deposition of low-contamination pyrite thin films

Description

Pyrite is a 0.95 eV bandgap semiconductor which is purported to have great potential in widespread, low–cost photovoltaic cells. A thorough material selection process was used in the design of a pyrite sequential vapor deposition chamber aimed at reducing and

Pyrite is a 0.95 eV bandgap semiconductor which is purported to have great potential in widespread, low–cost photovoltaic cells. A thorough material selection process was used in the design of a pyrite sequential vapor deposition chamber aimed at reducing and possibly eliminating contamination during thin film growth. The design process focused on identifying materials that do not produce volatile components when exposed to high temperatures and high sulfur pressures. Once the materials were identified and design was completed, the ultra–high vacuum growth system was constructed and tested.

Pyrite thin films were deposited using the upgraded sequential vapor deposition chamber by varying the substrate temperature from 250°C to 420°C during deposition, keeping sulfur pressure constant at 1 Torr. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) results showed that all contaminants in the films were reduced in concentration by orders of magnitude from those grown with the previous system. Characterization techniques of Rutherford Back–scattering Spectrometry (RBS), X–Ray Diffraction (XRD), Raman Spectroscopy, Optical Profilometry and UV/Vis/Near–IR Spectroscopy were performed on the deposited thin films. The results indicate that stoichiometric ratio of S:Fe, structural–quality (epitaxy), optical roughness and percentage of pyrite in the deposited thin films improve with increase in deposition temperature. A Tauc plot of the optical measurements indicates that the pyrite thin films have a bandgap of 0.94 eV.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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Determining carrier mobilities in GaAs and natural pyrite using geometrical magnetoresistance measurement

Description

Measurements of the geometrical magnetoresistance of a conventional semiconductor, gallium arsenide (GaAs), and a more recently developed semiconductor, iron pyrite (FeS2) were measured in the Corbino disc geometry as a function of magnetic field to determine the carrier mobility (μm).

Measurements of the geometrical magnetoresistance of a conventional semiconductor, gallium arsenide (GaAs), and a more recently developed semiconductor, iron pyrite (FeS2) were measured in the Corbino disc geometry as a function of magnetic field to determine the carrier mobility (μm). These results were compared with measurements of the Hall mobility (μH) made in the Van der Pauw configuration. The scattering coefficient (ξ), defined as the ratio between magnetoresistance and Hall mobility (μm/μH), was determined experimentally for GaAs and natural pyrite from 300 K to 4.2 K. The effect of contact resistance and heating on the measurement accuracy is discussed.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016