UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a new low-temperature semiconductor fabrication method to integrate delicate and disparate materials too sensitive for high-temperature integration.
The ability to integrate or join two different materials is fundamental for most modern electronics as well as devices for optoelectronic applications. Most modern methods rely upon physical vapor deposition and chemical epitaxial growth that rely on specific one-to-one chemical bonds and typically require the materials to have similar lattice properties and electronic properties. Materials whose lattice properties are dissimilar cannot be combined using epitaxial growth methods without experiencing severe defects. Materials with largely differing properties can be combined using vapor deposition due to its flexibility with a wide range of material types and lattice structures. However, due to the high energy vaporization, the resulting combination commonly suffers from deposition defects and disorders that adversely affect its electrical properties. A new method is needed that can combine dissimilar materials without the need of high-temperature processes that are commonly the root of surface degradation and undesirable electrical properties.
UCLA researchers have developed a new metal integration approach that enables combining materials typically incompatible with the standard high-temperature methods. Now, delicate and disparate semiconductors such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and organic thin films can be combined to create new functional interfaces and junctions with minimal defects, enabling new types of optoelectronic technologies and electronic technologies in general.
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