Patented process builds better semiconductors, improves electronic devices

March 09, 2015

MANHATTAN, KANSAS -- Through a surprise research discovery, a Kansas State University chemical engineer has found the icing on the cake for electronic devices.

Jim Edgar, university distinguished professor of chemical engineering, has received a patent for his invention "Off-axis silicon carbide substrates," which is a process for building better semiconductors.

The research may help improve electronic devices and could benefit the power electronics industry and manufacturers of semiconductor devices.

Electronics are made of semiconductors crystals that must be layered perfectly for the electronic device to work.

"It's like a stacked cake separated by layers of icing," Edgar said. "When the layers of semiconductors don't match up very well, it introduces defects. Any time there is a defect, it degrades the efficiency of the device."

Edgar's research has developed a better way to build semiconductors and layer them to minimize potential defects -- an important discovery for manufacturers.

Edgar describes the research discovery as serendipitous. Several years ago, when Yi Zhang, a 2011 doctoral graduate in chemical engineering, was working in the laboratory, she found a substrate sample that was very smooth.

Collaborative researchers at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom later confirmed the layer's presence and proved that it had fewer defects than on the standard substrate.

"We have applied this process to other systems," Edgar said. "We are working on verifying that it is not just these specific materials we started with, but that it can be applied to a lot of different materials."

Some of Edgar's latest research focuses on two different boron compounds: boron phosphide and icosahedral phosphide.
-end-
The researchers received support from the National Science Foundation.

Kansas State University

Related Chemical Engineering Articles from Brightsurf:

Strain engineering of 2D semiconductor and graphene
Strain engineering can significantly manipulate the two-dimensional (2D) materials' electronic and optical properties, which endow it the potential applications in optoelectronics and nanophotonics.

Re-engineering antibodies for COVID-19
Catholic University of America researcher uses 'in silico' analysis to fast-track passive immunity

Next frontier in bacterial engineering
A new technique overcomes a serious hurdle in the field of bacterial design and engineering.

COVID-19 and the role of tissue engineering
Tissue engineering has a unique set of tools and technologies for developing preventive strategies, diagnostics, and treatments that can play an important role during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Engineering the meniscus
Damage to the meniscus is common, but there remains an unmet need for improved restorative therapies that can overcome poor healing in the avascular regions.

Artificially engineering the intestine
Short bowel syndrome is a debilitating condition with few treatment options, and these treatments have limited efficacy.

Scientists use molecular tethers, chemical 'light sabers' for tissue engineering
Researchers at the University of Washington unveiled a new strategy to keep proteins intact and functional in synthetic biomaterials for tissue engineering.

Breakthrough in blood vessel engineering
Growing functional blood vessel networks is no easy task. Previously, other groups have made networks that span millimeters in size.

Next-gen batteries possible with new engineering approach
Dramatically longer-lasting, faster-charging and safer lithium metal batteries may be possible, according to Penn State research, recently published in Nature Energy.

A new way to do metabolic engineering
University of Illinois researchers have created a novel metabolic engineering method that combines transcriptional activation, transcriptional interference, and gene deletion, and executes them simultaneously, making the process faster and easier.

Read More: Chemical Engineering News and Chemical Engineering Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.