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)
Owner: Kansas State University
IP Protection Status: Pending Patent