Sieun and Nguyen both gave virtual talks at ACerS Electronic Materials and Applications (EMA) last week. Congratulations! Their abstracts are included below.
Sieun’s Abstract: Rutile GeO2: an ultra-wide-band-gap semiconductor for power electronics. Ultra-wide-band-gap (UWBG) semiconductors have tantalizing advantages for power electronics as their wider band gaps enable higher breakdown voltages. A handful of materials such as AlN/AlGaN, -Ga2O3, and diamond have been developed for UWBG semiconducting devices, however, they are still facing numerous challenges, such as doping asymmetry and/or inefficient thermal conduction. In our work, we have identified rutile GeO2 (r-GeO2) to be a promising, yet unexplored UWBG (4.68 eV) semiconductor. Our first-principles calculations predict shallow ionization energies for donors such as Sb, As, and F, a phonon-limited electron mobility of 289 cm2 V-1s-1, and a breakdown electric field of 7.0 MV cm-1, which lead to a higher Baliga figure of merit than -Ga2O3. We also predicted that p-type doping is promising in r-GeO2: the calculated ionization energy for Al acceptors is 0.45 eV and the calculated phonon-limited hole mobility is 27 cm2 V-1s-1. r-GeO2 also has superior thermal conductivity (45 W m–1 K–1 (calculated) and 51 W m–1 K–1 (experiment)) relative to -Ga2O3. Though the thin-film synthesis of r-GeO2 has remained challenging due to its highly metastable amorphous phase, we demonstrate the first synthesis of single crystalline epitaxial thin films of r-GeO2 on a sapphire substrate using ozone-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. Our work motivates further exploration of r-GeO2 as an alternative UWBG semiconductor that can overcome the limitations of the current state-of-the-art UWBG materials.
Nguyen’s abstract: Magnetic properties of thin single crystal Cr2O3 films. Magnetoelectric materials show potential for low-power spintronics via the electric field control of magnetization. Antiferromagnet Cr2O3 is a room temperature magnetoelectric yet the existence of twin domains in thin films grown on metallic electrodes leads to high leakage current and low dielectric breakdown fields. By using an isostructural epitaxial oxide electrode, V2O3, recent studies have shown the possible elimination of these twin domains. Dielectric properties of 200 nm thick films show improved performance, however, for next generation logic and memory the films must be scaled down. Here we present the electrical endurance and magnetic properties of very thin (30-60 nm) single crystal Cr2O3 films grown by pulsed laser deposition onto V2O3 buffered (0001) oriented Al2O3 substrates. A 60 nm single crystal thin film has bulk-like resistivity (1012 Ωcm) and significantly improved breakdown voltage (150-300 MV/m). From magnetometry of a Cr2O3/ferromagnet heterostructure, the blocking temperature is found to be at 285 K, higher than twinned films with similar or greater thickness in literature. Further, Second Harmonic Generation confirms bulk magnetoelectric order of our single crystal thin film at room temperature. These results indicate the importance of crystallinity to realize bulk like properties in very thin films at room temperature.