Lateral growth of semiconductor films directly on amorphous substrates
Uniform growth of high-quality semiconductor films on large amorphous substrates with applications in computer, LED lighting, and solar energy cell industries.
When developing semiconductor devices, such as photovoltaic (PV) cells used in solar energy generation, current technologies must choose between either high efficiency and cost, or inexpensive substrates and lower efficiency. This is primarily because direct growth of semiconductors on lower-cost amorphous substrates using other methods produces very low energy efficiency. Bonding or graded buffers allowed high quality semiconductors to be integrated, but the applications were low because of the added thickness and indirect contact. Other semiconductor devices, such as LED solid state light, optoelectronics, and high-speed electronics face similar issues and limitations.
Based on a novel system and method, this technology produces uniform, lateral growth of high-quality semiconductor films on amorphous and lattice mismatched substrates. The ability to generate semiconductor films on high-volume, low-cost amorphous structures will open numerous possibilities. Growth on lattice mismatched substrates will also permit growth of semiconductors on substrates with unique properties. In the solar energy industry, this system could provide the inexpensive but high efficiency next generation solar cells many end-users are expecting. In the agricultural industry LED lighting is quickly becoming a popular alternative to traditional high-pressure sodium lamps, but the older technology still has a slight advantage in terms of output per watt. With the ability to grow high quality semiconductor films directly on new substrates, higher efficiency and lower cost will benefit the use of LED lighting in both agricultural and other industries.
- Ability to produce a uniformly integrated semiconductor film on large surface areas for photovoltaic cells
- Growth of crystalline semiconductor structures directly on amorphous and lattice mismatched substrates
- Higher efficiency and lower costs opens new opportunities for a variety of industries