Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Electrochemical Liquid Phase Epitaxy for Thin Film Semiconductors

Technology #7207

Semiconductors have revolutionized our society. Continued advances in thin films of crystalline semiconductors promise to do the same. These materials can be used to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic cells and LEDs. However, it is difficult to process and synthesize such thin films of high quality crystals.

Uniform crystal growth in mild processing conditions

This technology concerns a new process and reactor cell for performing liquid phase epitaxial growth of thin film semiconducting crystals. Epitaxial growth entails having a crystal nucleate on a surface, helping to ensure that material has a single orientation. This process can drastically simplify the process of growing thin films because it combines the concepts of electrodeposition with epitaxy. The process requires benchtop conditions and ambient pressures. As it stands, the process has been used to make Geranium films with a uniform height and controllable thickness. Creating wafers with diameters up to 4 inches is currently possible. While there have not yet been tests on how the process scales, there is confidence that it will be amendable to high throughput methods due to the similarities with existing techniques.

Applications

  • Grow thin films of semiconducting crystals

Advantages

  • Simple process equipment
  • Low temperatures
  • Ambient pressures
  • Uses non-flammable precursors