Novel Method to Produce ScN Crystals & thin Films with Improved Qualities

Novel Method to Produce ScN Crystals & thin Films with Improved Qualities

Researchers at Kansas State University have developed an improved method to produce Scandium Nitride (ScN) epitaxial films and bulk crystals. The method involves using tungsten as a substrate. This method is compatible with bulk crystal growth techniques such as sublimation/physical vapor deposition, and thin film techniques such as chemical vapor deposition, sputter deposition, or molecular beam epitaxy.


  • Improved Quality of Crystals: This method produces ScN crystals with fewer defects and lesser impurities, hence overcoming an existing challenge for the industry.
  • Wide Applications: ScN is a promising semiconductor with many potential applications. It is structurally and chemically stable, mechanically hard (23GPa), and corrosion resistant and possesses an extremely high melting temperature in excess of 2600 C.
  • Method is Commercially Feasible: Tungsten is readily available in the market, can be easily integrated into the setup, and can withstand the high-temperature requirements of physical vapor transport.

Applications and Commercial Opportunities:

This method has been demonstrated to produce ScN crystals and thin films with improved qualities, and could potentially work towards GaN crystals as well. Potential applications are:

  • Epitaxial single crystalline nitride metal/semiconductor superlattices
  • Interlayer for the growth of GaN-based electronic devices (e.g. LEDs, lasers, IR detectors)
  • Ohmic contact to other semiconductors
  • Ferroelectric and Ferromagnetic devices
  • Piezoelectric devices, e.g. Pressure sensors, Thermoelectric devices, Spintronic devices, Green Light emitting diodes, Laser diodes, Microelectromechanical devices (MEMS)

Additional Details

Owner: Kansas State University

IP Protection Status: Pending Patent