Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stretching Silicon: A New Method To Measure How Strain Affects Semiconductors

Date:
November 9, 2008
Source:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Summary:
Engineers and physicists have developed a method of measuring how strain affects thin films of silicon that could lay the foundation for faster flexible electronics.

University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers and physicists have developed a method of measuring how strain affects thin films of silicon that could lay the foundation for faster flexible electronics.

Silicon is the industry standard semiconductor for electronic devices. Silicon thin films could be the basis for fast, flexible electronics. Researchers have long known that inducing strain into the silicon increases device speed, yet have not fully understood why.

Developed by a team of researchers led by Max Lagally, the Erwin W. Mueller and Bascom Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at UW-Madison, the new method enables the researchers to directly measure the effects of strain on the electronic structure of silicon.

Standard strained silicon has so many dislocations and defects that strain measurements aren't accurate, so the research team starts with its own specially fabricated silicon nanomembranes. The team can induce uniform strain in these extremely thin, flexible silicon sheets.

"Imagine if you were to attach a ring and a hook on all four corners and pull equally on all four corners like a trampoline, it stretches out like that," says Lagally.

As a result, the researchers avoid the defects and variations that make it difficult to study standard strained silicon. Uniform strain allows accurate measurement of its effect on electronic properties.

The researchers drew on the powerful X-ray source at the UW-Madison Synchrotron Radiation Center (SRC), which allowed them to measure conduction bands in strained silicon. To study the energy levels, the researchers needed a wavelength-tunable X-ray source. The SRC also houses a monochromator, a device that enabled the team to choose a precise wavelength, giving their readings the required high energy resolution.

By measuring nanomembranes with different percentages of strain, the researchers have determined the direction and magnitude of shifts in the conduction bands. Their findings have shed light on divergent theories and uncovered some surprising properties. Understanding these properties, and the energy shifts in strained materials, could lead to the improvement of fast, flexible electronic devices.

Capitalizing on its techniques for fabricating silicon nanomembranes, the group hopes to use SRC resources to study strain in other semiconductor materials, as well as to make measurements over smaller areas to study the effects of localized strain.

"The ability to make membranes of various materials, to strain them, and make these measurements will enable us to determine strain-dependent band structure of all kinds of semiconductor materials," says Lagally.

The group published its findings in the October 10 online edition of Physical Review Letters, and the paper will soon appear in the print edition of the journal.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Stretching Silicon: A New Method To Measure How Strain Affects Semiconductors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103170625.htm>.
University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2008, November 9). Stretching Silicon: A New Method To Measure How Strain Affects Semiconductors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103170625.htm
University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Stretching Silicon: A New Method To Measure How Strain Affects Semiconductors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103170625.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) Speaking about the future of the United States Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh says the choice to divest the A-10 fleet was logical and least impactful. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jets Fuel Jump in Boeing's Revenue

Jets Fuel Jump in Boeing's Revenue

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 23, 2014) A sharp rise in revenue for commercial jets offset a decline in Boeing's defense business. And a big increase in deliveries lifted profitability. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) South Korean officials say North Korea is preparing to conduct another nuclear test, but is Pyongyang just bluffing this time? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins