New Semiconductor Materials and Impurity Defects
I Wide Band Gap Semiconductor Materials Gallium nitride, silicon carbide, and zinc oxide are all wide bandgap semiconductor materials, because their forbidden bandwidths are all above 3 electron volt...
I Wide Band Gap Semiconductor Materials
Gallium nitride, silicon carbide, and zinc oxide are all wide bandgap semiconductor materials, because their forbidden bandwidths are all above 3 electron volts, and it is impossible to excite valence band electrons to the conduction band at room temperature. The operating temperature of the device can be very high, such as silicon carbide, of which temperature can reach 600 degrees Celsius. If a diamond is made into a semiconductor, the temperature can be higher, and it can be used to collect relevant information on an oil drill probe.
They’re also applied in harsh environments such as aviation and aerospace. The only high-power transmitting tube of radio stations and television stations is still electron tubes not semiconductor devices. The life of this kind of tube is only two or three thousand hours, it is bulky, and consumes a lot of power. If we use silicon carbide high-power emitting devices, the volume can be reduced by at least tens to hundreds of times, and the service life will be greatly increased. Therefore, wide bandgap semiconductor materials are very important new semiconductor materials.
However, this material is very difficult to grow. It’s easy to grow silicon on silicon and grow GaAs on gallium arsenide, but most of this material does not have a bulk material, and we have to use other materials as the substrate. For example, gallium nitride is generally grown on a sapphire substrate. The thermal expansion coefficient and lattice constant of sapphire and gallium nitride are very different so that the grown epitaxial layer has many defects, which is the biggest problem and difficulty at present. In addition, processing and etching of this material are also very difficult. Scientists are working to solve this problem for a more broad space for new materials.
II Low-dimensional Semiconductor Materials
In fact, the low-dimensional semiconductor materials mentioned here are nanomaterials. One of the important purposes of developing nanometer science and technology is to control and manufacture powerful of nanoelectronics, optoelectronic devices and circuits, nano-biosensors, etc. with superior performance to benefit humans on the scale level of atoms, molecules and nanometers. It can be expected that the development and application of nanotechnology will not only completely change people's production and life, but will also change the socio-political pattern and forms of confrontation in war, which is why people attach great importance to the development of nano-semiconductor technology.
The electrons in the bulk material can move freely in three dimensions. But when the feature size of the material is smaller than the mean free path of the electron in one dimension, the movement of the electron in this direction will be limited, and the energy of the electron is no longer continuous, but quantized. We call this material a superlattice, quantum well material. For quantum wire material, the electron can only move freely along the direction of the quantum wire, and the other two directions are restricted. And in quantum dot materials, the size of the material in three dimensions is smaller than the mean free path of the electrons. The electrons cannot move freely and the energy is quantized in all three directions.
Due to the above reasons, the state density function of the electron has also changed. The state density function of bulk material is a parabola, and the electrons can move freely on it. If it is a quantum dot material, its state density function is completely isolated distributed, which is the same as a single molecule or atom. Powerful quantum devices can be manufactured based on this feature.
The memory of LSI is realized by charging and discharging a large number of electrons. The flow of a large number of electrons requires a lot of energy, causing the chip to heat up, which limits the degree of integration. If a single or several electrons are used for memory, not only the integration degree can be improved, but the power consumption problem can also be solved. The efficiency of lasers is not high, because the wavelength of the laser changes with temperature. Generally, the wavelength is red-shifted as the temperature increases, so in fiber-optic communications, the temperature of the laser must be controlled. If quantum dot lasers can be used to replace existing quantum well lasers, these problems will be solved.
GaAs and InP-based superlattices and quantum well materials have developed very maturely and are widely used in the fields of optical communications, mobile communications, and microwave communications. Quantum cascade laser is a kind of unipolar device, which is a new type of mid- and far-infrared light source developed in the past ten years It has important application prospects in free-space communication, infrared countermeasures and remote-control chemical sensing. It has high requirements for the preparation process of MBE(molecular beam epitaxy), and the entire device has hundreds to thousands of layers, and the thickness of each layer must be controlled to a few tenths of nanometers.
III Impurities and Defects in Semiconductor Materials
Most of the methods of impurity control are doping a certain number of impurity atoms when the crystal grows. The final distribution of these impurity atoms in the crystal depends not only on the growth method itself, but also on the choice of growth conditions. For example, when the crystal is grown by the Czochralski method, impurity segregation and the irregular convection in the melt will cause fluctuations in the impurity distribution. Besides, no matter which crystal growth method is used, impurities will be introduced into the container, heater, ambient atmosphere and even the substrate during the growth process. This situation is called the autodoping. Crystal defect control is also achieved by controlling crystal growth conditions, such as the symmetry of the thermal field around the crystal, temperature fluctuations, environmental pressure, growth rate, etc., With the decreasing of the device size, there is also a limit to the microcell unevenness of impurity distribution in the crystal and the small defects of the order of atomic magnitude. Therefore, in the process of semiconductor materials, how to carefully design and strictly control the growth conditions to meet the various requirements for impurities and defects in semiconductor materials is the central issue.
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