Semiconductors & ICs

Molecular Engineering for Mechanically Resilient and Stretchable Electronic Polymers and Composites

The ability to predict the mechanical properties of organic semiconductors is of critical importance for roll-to-roll production and thermomechanical reliability of organic electronic devices. This research describes the use of coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to predict the density, tensile modulus, Poisson ratio, and glass transition temperature for poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and its blend with C60. In particular, it is shown that the resolution of the coarse-grained model has a strong effect on the predicted properties.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Composites, Materials, Mechanical Components, Semiconductors & ICs

Electrodeposition of Metal Matrix Composites and Materials Characterization for Thin-Film Solar Cells

Metal matrix composites can electrically bridge the cracks that appear in semiconductor substrates and the composite grid lines.
Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Solar Power, Composites, Materials, Metals, Mechanical Components, Semiconductors & ICs

Electrical Characterization of Crystalline UO2, THO2 and U0.71TH0.29O2

Tracking and identifying radiation sources in the age of nuclear proliferation and well- resourced non-state actors is a national priority. Current neutron detection methods favor large detector volumes and long data collection times. Additionally, portable neutron detection methods have persistent problems with low signal-to-noise (small pulse height) and require large applied voltages.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Semiconductors & ICs, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors

Integrated Magneto-Optical Devices for On-Chip Photonic Systems

The magneto-optical (MO) oxide layer consists of (Bi,Y)3Fe5O12 or BiYIG, bismuth garnet. This material was selected because it has a better figure of merit than the CeYIG previously used, especially at lower wavelengths (1310 nm vs. 1550 nm). A top-down deposition process was developed in which BiYIG/YIG stacks are grown on the Si waveguide with YIG on top. The stack is annealed at 800°C/5 min to crystallize both layers, with the YIG templating the BiYIG leading to garnet phases rather than other oxides, and the BiYIG is directly on the Si waveguide. Initial attempts led to a film with Bi oxide phases, because the Bi was in excess and could not escape during the anneal as occurs in Si/YIG/BiYIG stacks. Hence the composition was adjusted to include slightly more Fe, which yielded films with only garnet peaks.

Posted in: Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics, Semiconductors & ICs

Ultracompact, High-Speed Field-Effect Optical Modulators

The major goals of this research project included two parts. First, an ultracompact plasmonic electro-optical (EO) modulator was to be developed and investigated for efficient intensity modulation. Second, an ultracompact and high-speed EO modulator based on a dielectric platform was to be developed for straightforward integration with existing CMOS technology. Both modulators were targeted to facilitate next-generation interconnects for integrated photonic circuits.

Posted in: Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics, Semiconductors & ICs

Content Addressable Memory (CAM) Technologies for Big Data and Intelligent Electronics Enabled By Magneto-Electric Ternary CAM

Content addressable memory (CAM) is one of the most promising hardware solutions for high-speed data searching and has many practical applications such as anti-virus scanners, internet protocol (IP) filters, and network switches. Since CAM stores the data in its internal memory elements and compares them with the search data in parallel, it can achieve much faster speed compared to the software lookup.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Communications, Data Acquisition, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Energy Efficiency, Internet of Things, Materials, Metals, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Semiconductors & ICs, Data Acquisition, Sensors

Silicon Based Mid-Infrared SiGeSn Heterostructure Emitters and Detectors

Enhancing the performance of GeSn p-i-n photodiodes using gold metal nanostructures.

The goal of this research project was to advance the science and technology of silicon-based photonic devices using SiGeSn heterostructures. Such devices work in mid-IR spectral range and form the foundation for mid-IR photonics that enable on-chip systems for applications ranging from vibrational spectroscopy, chem/bio sensing, medical/health uses, to environmental monitoring. This project was mostly directed toward improving GeSn detectors with the use of surface plasmons induced by carefully designed metal nanostructures. The goal was to replace the current mid-IR detectors that are usually photodiodes made from narrow bandgap III-V or II-VI semiconductor compounds such as InGaAs, InSb, HgCdTe (MCT) or type-II In-GaAs/InGaSb superlattice. These photodiodes are incompatible with the CMOS process and cannot be easily integrated with Si electronics. The GeSn mid-IR detectors developed in this project are fully compatible with the CMOS process.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs, Integrated circuits, Sensors and actuators, Silicon alloys

Reconfigurable Electronics and Non-Volatile Memory Research

The purpose of this research was to investigate non-volatile memory device technologies that could be applied to reconfigurable electronics applications to provide power reduction, radiation tolerance, smaller size, and improved reliability over existing non-volatile memory devices. The research encompasses: 1) materials and device design, and 2) fabrication and testing of the devices. The types of memory devices that were investigated are divided into three categories:

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs, Electronic equipment, Research and development, Reliability