Methods for Making 2D Nanoscale PN Junctions and Junction Arrays

Background: Silicon-based device structures capable of laser emission are highly desirable since they allow realization of integrated opto-electronic circuits. Unfortunately, it is generally believed that silicon's inherent bandgap prevents its use, alone, as lasing media. Numerous approaches to overcoming this difficulty have been attempted with mixed results. Recently, high efficiency electroluminescence from silicon light-emitting diodes corresponding to silicon's bandgap energy has been reported. However, none of these approaches has been successfully used in current injection to achieve optical gain and stimulated emission, a key requirement for laser emission. Technology: University researchers have developed methods to create a 2-D nanoscale structure with desirable controllability and design flexibility in the boron (and other dopant) distribution before thermal diffusion or ion implantation, resulting in the formation of nanostructured PN junction arrays. In addition, a novel processing method for a 2-D mask with periodic or quasi-periodic spacing between the boron-rich regions and the SiO2-rich regions has been developed. Application: Fabrication of high-efficiency, silicon-based LEDs and lasers using current injection.

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