Excepting III-N compounds, the III-V and group-IV semiconductors that underpin contemporary optoelectronics crystallise in a cubic structure. Recent advancements in semiconductor growth enable switching between cubic and hexagonal phases in these materials, allowing fabrication of hexagonal semiconductors and crystal phase heterostructures (CPHs). Growth in metastable phases radically alters material properties, with so-called crystal phase engineering (CPE) constituting a new paradigm to tailor semiconductors for practical applications. However, detailed understanding of the implications of CPE for technologically-relevant material properties is currently lacking.
The SATORI project will employ a multi-scale approach, encompassing atomistic first principles calculations and continuum model/software development, to establish a new state of the art in theory and simulation for CPE. This platform will be applied to quantify key hexagonal phase and CPH properties, and hence to identify optimised materials and nanostructures for photonics applications. This significantly enhanced understanding of the properties and potential of CPE will provide critical insights to a burgeoning experimental community.
The outgoing phase will proceed at the University of California Santa Barbara, USA (UCSB) under the supervision of Prof. Chris Van de Walle, and will focus on first principles analysis of electronic properties and carrier recombination. The return phase will proceed at Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Ireland (TNI-UCC) under the supervision of Prof. Eoin O’Reilly, and will focus on multi-scale simulation and optimisation of the properties of CPHs for visible and infrared photonics applications. By combining the expertise of UCSB in first principles analysis with that of TNI-UCC in multi-scale device simulation, SATORI will deliver new insights and simulation tools to drive development of photonic devices based on this emerging class of semiconductors.
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