Wei Du Receives NSF Award to Research Development of SiGeSn-Based Semiconductor Materials – University of Arkansas Newswire

Portrait of Wei Du
Wei Du, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, received an award from the National Science Foundation in support of his research on SiGeSn-based heterostructures for intersubband photonic materials for use in semiconductor manufacturing. 
The award is for collaborative research with the University of California-Los Angeles. The total amount is $520,000, with $270,000 awarded to the U of A. This award will help advance Du's research and productivity.  
His goal is to study and develop a new semiconductor material system based on alloys of silicon, germanium and tin, or SiGeSn. Du said, "Here we are growing the SiGeSn materials in alternating atomically sharp stacks with germanium layers. This enables us to detect and characterize the optical responses overall. There is a large need for this kind of characterization of materials to understand the fundamentals." 
Du explained that if his work is successful, it will lay the foundation for new far infrared and terahertz lasers and photodetectors that can fully exploit the electromagnetic spectrum. 
Du shared, "This grant will support our experiments and research material growth. It also provides our students with valuable research experience and support."  
The project's fundamental studies revolve around growing the specific compositions of the SiGeSn material in layered stacks with an atomically sharp interface, characterizing the fundamental electronic properties of such materials and demonstrating that a far infrared optical transition can be engineered according to the group's designs, he said. 
"After we understand the fundamentals of designing a device and the materials themselves, we are going to build the device and see the results first-hand," he said. 
Du wants to apply his research to semiconductor manufacturing in the future. He shared that the material he is researching should be compatible with mainstream silicon semiconductor technology. This will make it easy to transition his grown materials to industry and advance future U.S. semiconductor manufacturing interests. 
Austin Cook, project/program specialist
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
479-575-7120, [email protected]
Jennifer P. Cook, director of communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, [email protected]
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