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Finnish team gets funding to commercialise III-V interface technology

97.5 percent defect density reduction could bring III-V materials to new applications

Johnny Dahl of University of Turku (UTU) in Finland has been granted €0.5 million funding for a new project titled 'Commercialisation of Novel Interfaces' to prepare for a market entry of a new compound semiconductor interface technology.

The project is the culmination of long-term research into III-V/oxide interfaces at UTU, in which the group has developed dielectric/III-V interfaces with a much lower density of interface defects (97.5 percent reduction) compared to industry standard interfaces. The technique involves passivated the III-V surface first with a crystalline structure, which works as a platform for subsequent dielectric growth.

"This significant step towards defect density comparable to interfaces of silicon will benefit all III-V market areas. For example, in electronics and photonics, the leakage and dark currents of transistors and photodiodes can be massively reduced," the project leader, Johnny Dahl explains.

"The new technology can also enable many new III-V applications, such as III-V digital electronics. The high density of defects in III-V/oxide interfaces has been a major hurdle preventing the commercialisation of III-V digital electronics, but that problem has been now solved", he continues.

The group thinks the new interface technology will be suitable for consumer electronics, fibre optics, telecommunications, digital electronics and even solar cells.

"The timing is just right to bring forth our new interface solutions. III-V materials have consolidated their importance in modern electronics and the technology has matured. The threshold to introduce our solutions to production lines is low and we believe that within two years the first products incorporating our technology will be available to consumers," says Dahl.

The new project will last until June 2017 and it is partly funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

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