This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Materials World Network project is supported by DMR-CER and DMR-OSP.
This Materials World Network research program between Prof. Roberto Fornari from the Leibniz Institute for Crystal Growth (IKZ), Berlin, Germany; Prof. Recardo Manzke from the Humboldt University (HU), Berlin, Germany; and Prof. James S. Speck from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) focuses on the growth of the highest quality single crystal oxides that enable high performance oxide thin films. The oxides are typically used for display and solar cell applications. The insight gained in this program is creating new pathways to higher performance light emitting diodes, displays and solar cells. Additionally, the students in this program are engaged in experimental and theoretical activities in the U.S. and Germany and thus will be exposed to a broad of scientific issues in an international setting.
The exploration of oxides from the perspective of semiconductor science and technology offers exciting opportunities for uncovering new physics as well as developing novel devices with unprecedented performance and functionality. There is currently great interest in the exploration and development of semiconducting binary oxides (beta-Ga2O3, In2O3, SnO2, ZnO) as new wide-band-gap electronic materials. When grown as high purity epitaxial films with controlled doping, as carried out for non-oxide semiconductors (e.g., Si, GaAs), they have great potential as a new class of semiconductors (NSF-partner UCSB). In this context, this project addresses a major bottleneck, namely the availability of bulk substrates for homoepitaxy (partners IKZ and HU Berlin). High quality homoepitaxial growth on single crystal substrates provided by our partners IKZ and HU facilitate solutions to outstanding scientific questions for semiconducting oxides including: the origin of unintentional n-type doping; the presence of surface electron accumulation layers; and the development of p-type doping and p-n homojunctions. A strong impact on technology is anticipated: the wide-band-gap oxides that are the focus of the investigation are prime candidates for transparent electronics, high-frequency devices, multifunctional devices, and potentially for light emitters.