NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a new low-temperature method of SiGe/sapphire growth that produces the same single-crystal films with much less thermal loading effort to the substrate. This eliminates the time-consuming and costly high heating, long thermal soak times, and interfacial Si layer. Yield and throughput are increased as time to production is reduced from more than four hours to less than one hour. The same quality of SiGe/sapphire is produced with far less effort and time, bringing it to within the realm of mass production.

This innovation is based on a new fabrication method that alleviates the thermal loading requirement of the substrate, which previously required surface temperatures within the range of 850 to 900 °C. The method employs a new thermal loading requirement of sapphire substrate for growing single-crystal SiGe on sapphire substrate in the range of 450 to 500 °C. SiGe/sapphire wafers produced via this process show a high reflectivity without the discoloration that appears in low-quality films.

NASA is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology. Please contact The Technology Gateway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 757-864-1178 to initiate licensing discussions. Follow this link here  for more information.

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This article first appeared in the February, 2019 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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