Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS


SCOPE Sintesi della relazione

Project ID: 307636
Finanziato nell'ambito di: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Paese: United Kingdom

Mid-Term Report Summary - SCOPE (Scandium-based multifunctional nitrides for optoelectronic, polaritonic and ferro/magnetoelectric devices)

In this project we are developing a new group of materials which can be used to help us create new and more efficient types of electronic devices. The materials we are interested in are similar to the ones that you can find in commercially important applications like energy-efficient LED lighting and ultraviolet light emitters for water treatment. However, those materials (the group III nitride semiconductors AlN, GaN and InN) can only be used in some kinds of devices. We want to extend their properties by adding scandium, which should make it possible to use these materials in a much wider range of devices, including materials for thermoelectric and piezoelectric power generation, highly efficient lasers and artificial synapses. We are focusing on ScGaN alloys in particular, as these are thermodynamically stable and have properties most well-suited for devices.

So far, we are half-way through the project, and have made the following progress, in line with our original objectives. We have made ScGaN films across the full composition range in the form of extremely thin, highly crystalline layers, as required for devices. We have investigated their thin film growth modes and microstructure and have measured their stability, piezoelectric, electronic and optical properties. We have also performed theoretical simulations and experimental studies at European synchrotron facilities to explore the local bonding around the Sc atoms and to uncover the underlying physics of these new materials. We have found that the true electronic and optical properties of ScGaN alloys are different from those identified in previous studies. We have also found that planar crystalline defects within the films can affect their optical properties significantly.

Overall, after taking all our findings into consideration and assessing the potential for the use of these materials in devices, we find that ScGaN films appear to be most promising for applications in ultraviolet light emitters. We have also designed, built and tested new equipment for making thin film-based devices, and have used our initial results in combination with simulations to create new device designs based on these materials. We are now in the second stage of the project, in which these device structures are being made and tested.

Reported by

United Kingdom