Wide bandgap semiconductors have been broadly investigated for their potential to detect and emit high energy ultraviolet (UV) photons. Advancements in deep UV optoelectronic materials would enable the efficient and affordable realization of many medical, industrial and consumer UV optical devices. The traditional growth method, vacuum deposition, is an extremely complicated and expensive process. Sol-gel processing dramatically simplifies facility requirements and can be scaled to industrial size. The work presented here involves a novel study of the ternary wide bandgap material Ni1-xMgxO. Films were developed by sol-gel spin coating for investigation of material and electrical properties. This method produced films 200-600 nm thick with surface roughness below 4 nm RMS. Sintered films indicated an improvement from 60% to 90% transmission near the band edge. Additionally, compositional analysis was performed by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy and film defects were characterized by photoluminescence using a continuous wave He-Cd UV laser, revealing the expected oxygen defect at 413nm. This film growth technique has produced thin polycrystalline films with low surface roughness and a high degree of crystalline orientation; crucial characteristics for semiconductor devices. These films have demonstrated the ability to be tuned over the full compositional range from the bandgap of NiO (3.6 eV) to that of MgO (7.8 eV). Optoelectronic devices produced by standard photolithographic techniques are discussed as well as the electrical transport properties of their metal contacts. Based on initial results, these films have demonstrated strong potential as solar blind detectors of UV radiation.
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Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (B.S.E.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science;Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Scheurer, Amber, "Assessing the viability of sol-gel nimgo films for solar blind detection" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1181.