Measurement of semiconductor material quality is now 100,000 times more sensitive

phys.org | 3/13/2019 | Staff
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The enhanced power of the new measuring technique to characterize materials at scales much smaller than any current technologies will accelerate the discovery and investigation of 2-D, micro- and nanoscale materials.

Being able to accurately measure semiconductor properties of materials in small volumes helps engineers determine the range of applications for which these materials may be suitable in the future, particularly as the size of electronic and optical devices continues to shrink.

Daniel - Wasserman - Associate - Professor - Department

Daniel Wasserman, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering, led the team that built the physical system, developed the measurement technique capable of achieving this level of sensitivity and successfully demonstrated its improved performance. Their work was reported today in Nature Communications.

The team's design approach was focused on developing the capability to provide quantitative feedback on material quality, with particular applications for the development and manufacturing of optoelectronic devices. The method demonstrated is capable of measuring many of the materials that engineers believe will one day be ubiquitous to next-generation optoelectronic devices.

Optoelectronics - Study - Application - Devices - Source

Optoelectronics is the study and application of electronic devices that can source, detect and control light. Optoelectronic devices that detect light, known as photodetectors, use materials that generate electrical signals from light. Photodetectors are found in smartphone cameras, solar cells and in the fiber optic communication systems that make up our broadband networks. In an optoelectronic material, the amount of time that the electrons remain "photoexcited," or capable of producing an electrical signal, is a reliable indicator of the potential quality of that material for photodetection applications.

The current method used for measuring the carrier dynamics, or lifetimes, of photoexcited electrons is costly and complex and only measures large-scale material samples with limited accuracy. The UT team decided to try using a different method for quantifying these lifetimes by...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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