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Technical Insights


Wednesday 11th May 2011
Mike Czerniak, product marketing manager for exhaust gas management at Edwards makes the case for combustion based abatement as a cheaper, more environmentally friendly alternative to wet scrubbing.
Wednesday 11th May 2011
Reduced internal electric fields, rougher surfaces and the introduction of superlattices are helping to drive up the efficiencies of nitride solar cells
Wednesday 11th May 2011
Plotting LED efficiency against carrier density exposes fundamental limitations in the widely used ‘ABC’ model
Wednesday 11th May 2011
Nickel-InGaAs alloy slashes source and drain resistance, paving the way to higher drive currents
Tuesday 10th May 2011
Nitride lasers, which are a key component in Blu-ray players and recorders, still suffer from limited reliability. The origin of this failure is controversial, but there is strong evidence to suggest that point defects are to blame, argues Matteo Meneghini, Nicola Trivellin, Gaudenzio Meneghesso and Enrico Zanoni from University of Padova, Italy.
Thursday 5th May 2011
Extracting the very best performance from a triple junction photovoltaic demands optimisation of the absorption edge of every sub-cell. Incorporating quantum wells into the cells can realise this, while allowing the device to be tailored for the spectral conditions where it will be deployed, say QuantaSol’s Keith Barnham, Alison Dobbin, Matt Lumb and Tom Tibbits.
Sunday 1st May 2011
Greater levels of GaAs integration in tomorrow’s smartphones, initial deployment of green nitride lasers in mobile pico-projectors and the insertion of high-modulation InP lasers and novel memories to slash power consumption in next-generation supercomputers were all on the agenda at CS Europe. Richard Stevenson reports.
Sunday 1st May 2011
The inaugural Compound Semiconductor Industry Awards were presented at the CS Europe Conference held in Frankfurt and attended by 150 industry professionals.
Thursday 14th April 2011
Conducting polymers such as polythiophenes promise to replace metallic films for charge dissipation in semiconductor processing. This switch should provide ease of use and deliver results of unprecedented quality, say Rafal Dylewicz and Faiz Rahman from the University of Glasgow, UK.
Thursday 14th April 2011
Conventional multi-junction cell measurements only yield the characteristics of the entire device. In stark contrast, a novel electroluminescence approach can probe far deeper, extracting the current-voltage curves for individual sub-cells that hold the key to optimising the overall conversion efficiency, say the technique’s pioneers, Raymond Hoheisel, Sebastian Rönsch, Frank Dimroth and Andreas Bett from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems and Helmut Nesswetter and Claus Zimmermann from EADS Astrium.
Thursday 7th April 2011
Process engineers put down nitride films by cranking MOCVD reactors up to 1100°C and cracking ammonia and metal precursor molecules on the substrate. But this type of growth can be performed at far lower temperatures to create epitaxial films with minimal hydrogen by switching to a table-top Nanomaster tool that employs an RF source to split nitrogen gas into a plasma. Richard Stevenson talks to Nanomaster’s CEO, Birol Kuyel, about the pros and cons of this alternative growth technology.
Wednesday 6th April 2011
One option for maintaining the march of Moore’s Law is to build the pairing of III-V and germanium transistors on silicon. Depositing compound semiconductors on silicon in a selective manner is tricky, but researchers at imec have shown that it is possible to do this on 200 mm on-axis wafers by forming concave trenches in the material, before filling them with a little germanium and topping them up with InP. Richard Stevenson reports.
Tuesday 5th April 2011
If accepted, new European proposals over hazardous materials will make it very hard for European firms to compete globally in the compound semiconductor market.
Tuesday 5th April 2011
The combination of reliable output powers of 7W, peak power conversion efficiencies in excess of 60 percent and spectral widths below 1nm can be realized by incorporating integrating distributed feedback gratings into broad-area lasers, says Paul Crump from the Ferdinand Braun Institut, Germany.
Monday 4th April 2011
The inaugural Awards were presented at the CS Europe Conference which was attended by 150 industry professionals.
Wednesday 30th March 2011
Novel growth techniques are helping to spur the output of deep ultra-violet LEDs to levels that are suitable for purifying water at more than a liter per minute, says Tim Bettles from Sensors Electronic Technology.
Wednesday 2nd March 2011
Adding a tiny probe to an IR microscope improves its temperature measurement capability, in turn giving new insights into the local heating profile of HEMTs and LEDs, according to a UK team comprising Chris Oxley, Richard Hopper, Dominic Prime, Mark Leaper and Gwynne Evans from De Montfort University and Andrew Levick from the National Physical Laboratory.
Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Novel chip geometries, such as triangular and hexagonal devices, can deliver massive increases in light extraction by cutting optical confinement in both the vertical and horizontal directions, says Hoi Wai Choi from the Semiconductor Lighting and Display Laboratory at The University of Hong Kong.
Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Silicon extreme ultraviolet detector arrays require non-standard methods to be prevented from receiving longer wavelength radiation, e.g. by using multiple filters. Switching to AlGaN equivalents increases robustness and eliminates the need to block out visible and infrared light, which in turn boosts detector performance, say IMEC’s Pawel Malinowski, Kyriaki Minoglou and Piet De Moor.
Wednesday 16th February 2011
In order to become a successor to silicon CMOS technology, III-V transistors must be built on silicon substrates that are large enough to be processed by VLSI toolsets. Sematech has done just this by fabricating InGaAs MOSFETs on 200 mm silicon (100) using state-of-the-art silicon foundry tools. Richard Stevenson investigates.
Wednesday 16th February 2011
Low-resistance channel contacts that speed transistors to record-breaking frequencies, localized boron doping that boosts blocking voltages and studies of HEMT ageing mechanisms all featured at the latest International Electron Devices Meeting. Richard Stevenson reports.
Tuesday 1st February 2011
There are tremendous differences between the laser and the transistor, but it is possible to draw their attributes together by building a transistor laser. This novel device that produces its electrical and optical outputs simultaneously promises to revolutionize data transfer, enabling new architectures capable of operating at incredibly high bit rates, says Milton Feng from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Tuesday 1st February 2011
Quantum dot infrared photodetectors suffer from strain in their nanostructures that culminates in various performance-degrading defects. However, many of these defects can be avoided by turning to a novel, strain-free growth method based on the deposition of droplets, says Jiang Wu from University of Arkansas Fayetteville.
Monday 31st January 2011
Substantial reductions in chip production costs will spur the uptake of LED-based solidstate lighting. One way to do this is to start to manufacture these emitters with multi-wafer 6-inch tools that set a new benchmark for reproducibility, argues Aixtron’s Rainer Beccard.

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