Matching Items (6)

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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

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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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

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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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

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Characterization of oxide thin films and interfaces using transmission electron microscopy

Description

Multifunctional oxide thin-films grown on silicon and several oxide substrates have been characterized using High Resolution (Scanning) Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM), Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX), and Electron Energy-Loss Spectroscopy (EELS).

Multifunctional oxide thin-films grown on silicon and several oxide substrates have been characterized using High Resolution (Scanning) Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM), Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX), and Electron Energy-Loss Spectroscopy (EELS). Oxide thin films grown on SrTiO3/Si pseudo-substrate showed the presence of amorphised SrTiO3 (STO) at the STO/Si interface. Oxide/oxide interfaces were observed to be atomically clean with very few defects.

Al-doped SrTiO3 thin films grown on Si were of high crystalline quality. The Ti/O ratio estimated from EELS line scans revealed that substitution of Ti by Al created associated O vacancies. The strength of the crystal field in STO was measured using EELS, and decreased by ~1.0 eV as Ti4+ was substituted by Al3+. The damping of O-K EELS peaks confirmed the rise in oxygen vacancies. For Co-substituted STO films grown on Si, the EDS and EELS spectra across samples showed Co doping was quite random. The substitution of Ti4+ with Co3+ or Co2+ created associated oxygen vacancies for charge balance. Presence of oxygen vacancies was also confirmed by shift of Ti-L EELS peaks towards lower energy by ~0.4 eV. The crystal-field strength decreased by ~0.6 eV as Ti4+ was partially substituted by Co3+ or Co2+.

Spinel Co3O4 thin films grown on MgAl2O4 (110) were observed to have excellent crystalline quality. The structure of the Co3O4/MgAl2O4 interface was determined using HRTEM and image simulations. It was found that MgAl2O4 substrate is terminated with Al and oxygen. Stacking faults and associated strain fields in spinel Co3O4 were found along [111], [001], and [113] using Geometrical Phase Analysis.

NbO2 films on STO (111) were observed to be tetragonal with lattice parameter of 13.8 Å and NbO films on LSAT (111) were observed to be cubic with lattice parameter of 4.26 Å. HRTEM showed formation of high quality NbOx films and excellent coherent interface. HRTEM of SrAl4 on LAO (001) confirmed an island growth mode. The SrAl4 islands were highly crystalline with excellent epitaxial registry with LAO. By comparing HRTEM images with image simulations, the interface structure was determined to consist of Sr-terminated SrAl4 (001) on AlO2-terminated LAO (001).

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Material properties of MBE Grown ZnTe, GaSb and their heterostructures for optoelectronic device applications

Description

Recently a new materials platform consisting of semiconductors grown on GaSb and InAs substrates with lattice constants close to 6.1 A was proposed by our group for various electronic and

Recently a new materials platform consisting of semiconductors grown on GaSb and InAs substrates with lattice constants close to 6.1 A was proposed by our group for various electronic and optoelectronic applications. This materials platform consists of both II-VI (MgZnCdHg)(SeTe) and III-V (InGaAl)(AsSb) compound semiconductors, which have direct bandgaps spanning the entire energy spectrum from far-IR (~0 eV) up to UV (~3.4 eV). The broad range of bandgaps and material properties make it very attractive for a wide range of applications in optoelectronics, such as solar cells, laser diodes, light emitting diodes, and photodetectors. Moreover, this novel materials system potentially offers unlimited degrees of freedom for integration of electronic and optoelectronic devices onto a single substrate while keeping the best possible materials quality with very low densities of misfit dislocations. This capability is not achievable with any other known lattice-matched semiconductors on any available substrate. In the 6.1-A materials system, the semiconductors ZnTe and GaSb are almost perfectly lattice-matched with a lattice mismatch of only 0.13%. Correspondingly, it is expected that high quality ZnTe/GaSb and GaSb/ZnTe heterostructures can be achieved with very few dislocations generated during growth. To fulfill the task, their MBE growth and material properties are carefully investigated. High quality ZnTe layers grown on various III-V substrates and GaSb grown on ZnTe are successfully achieved using MBE. It is also noticed that ZnTe and GaSb have a type-I band-edge alignment with large band offsets (delta_Ec=0.934 eV, delta_Ev=0.6 eV), which provides strong confinement for both electrons and holes. Furthermore, a large difference in refractive index is found between ZnTe and GaSb (2.7 and 3.9, respectively, at 0.7 eV), leading to excellent optical confinement of the guided optical modes in planar semiconductor lasers or distributed Bragg reflectors (DBR) for vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers. Therefore, GaSb/ZnTe double-heterostructure and ZnTe/GaSb DBR structure are suitable for use in light emitting devices. In this thesis work, experimental demonstration of these structures with excellent structural and optical properties is reported. During the exploration on the properties of various ZnTe heterostructures, it is found that residual tensile strains exist in the thick ZnTe epilayers when they are grown on GaAs, InP, InAs and GaSb substrates. The presence of tensile strains is due to the difference in thermal expansion coefficients between the epilayers and the substrates. The defect densities in these ZnTe layers become lower as the ZnTe layer thickness increases. Growth of high quality GaSb on ZnTe can be achieved using a temperature ramp during growth. The influence of temperature ramps with different ramping rates in the optical properties of GaSb layer is studied, and the samples grown with a temperature ramp from 360 to 470 C at a rate of 33 C/min show the narrowest bound exciton emission peak with a full width at half maximum of 15 meV. ZnTe/GaSb DBR structures show excellent reflectivity properties in the mid-infrared range. A peak reflectance of 99% with a wide stopband of 480 nm centered at 2.5 um is measured from a ZnTe/GaSb DBR sample of only 7 quarter-wavelength pairs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Growth and characterization of thin films of high performance microwave dielectrics

Description

Microwave dielectrics are widely used to make resonators and filters in telecommunication systems. The production of thin films with high dielectric constant and low loss could potentially enable a marked

Microwave dielectrics are widely used to make resonators and filters in telecommunication systems. The production of thin films with high dielectric constant and low loss could potentially enable a marked reduction in the size of devices and systems. However, studies of these materials in thin film form are very sparse. In this research, experiments were carried out on practical high-performance dielectrics including ZrTiO4-ZnNb2O6 (ZTZN) and Ba(Co,Zn)1/3Nb2/3O3 (BCZN) with high dielectric constant and low loss tangent. Thin films were deposited by laser ablation on various substrates, with a systematical study of growth conditions like substrate temperature, oxygen pressure and annealing to optimize the film quality, and the compositional, microstructural, optical and electric properties were characterized. The deposited ZTZN films were randomly oriented polycrystalline on Si substrate and textured on MgO substrate with a tetragonal lattice change at elevated temperature. The BCZN films deposited on MgO substrate showed superior film quality relative to that on other substrates, which grow epitaxially with an orientation of (001) // MgO (001) and (100) // MgO (100) when substrate temperature was above 500 oC. In-situ annealing at growth temperature in 200 mTorr oxygen pressure was found to enhance the quality of the films, reducing the peak width of the X-ray Diffraction (XRD) rocking curve to 0.53o and the χmin of channeling Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) to 8.8% when grown at 800oC. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) was used to study the topography and found a monotonic decrease in the surface roughness when the growth temperature increased. Optical absorption and transmission measurements were used to determine the energy bandgap and the refractive index respectively. A low-frequency dielectric constant of 34 was measured using a planar interdigital measurement structure. The resistivity of the film is ~3×1010 ohm·cm at room temperature and has an activation energy of thermal activated current of 0.66 eV.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013