- a innovative method for growing semiconductor crystals
KRISTMAG - crystal growth in traveling magnetic fields is a growth technology for high quality semiconductor crystals from the melt which has been awarded the Berlin Brandenburg Innovation Award.
Traveling magnetic fields allow to improve the crystalline quality and to increase the growth velocity. Commercially, these magnetic fields are generated by generators positioned outside the plants.
Model of a conventional VGF-growth plant
(Graphite heaters inside and external magnetic field generators)
The idea is to integrate the magnetic field generator and the heater inside the plant. Therefore, much lower field strenghts are required to influence the melt. The KRISTMAG-technology thus offers an efficient alternative to conventional growth plants due to energy, space and cost savings
KRISTMAG can be retrofitted in existing plants and be used for all materials with electrically conducting melts.
Model of a VGF-growth plant with KRISTMAG-technology
Highly pure semiconductor crystals like silicon, germanium or gallium arsenide are the basis of electronic circuits and microprocessors, light-emitting diodes, lasers and mobile phones. Without these crystals our modern technology simply would not work. Therefore, crystal growth of semiconductor
materials on a large scale and with high quality is an important challenge.
In commercial production, these crystals are usually grown from the melt. In this process, when the semiconducting raw material is melted in a crucible, so-called thermal convections are induced by the melt flow. These convections may lead to defects or inhomogeneities in the grown crystal.
On the other hand, control of the thermal convection allows to enhance homogeneity and to reduce tension in the grown crystal. Therefore, it provides a convenient way to improve the crystalline quality significantly.
Researchers at the IKZ had the idea to change the geometry of the graphite heater used to generate heat for the melting process. This modification allows the simultaneous generation of heat (by direct current) and traveling magnetic fields by using alternating current for magnetic field induction. This heater-magnet module is the key component of the KRISTMAG concept. KRISTMAG is applicable for all materials with electrically conducting melts, since it uses the Lorentz forces induced by the magnetic field.
Variation of the applied alternating currents allows to control the magnetic field and, hence, the induced Lorentz forces. Therefore, it is possible to influence the phase boundary, i.e. to flatten its surface significantly, which leads to a higher structural perfection of the growing crystal. In addition, a more homogenous macroscopic dopant distribution can be achieved, further improving the crystalline quality.
The technical testing of the process has been completed successfully and a transfer of the technology into research and industry has already begun.
We would be pleased to advice you on the use of the KRISTMAG-technology, also in existing growth plants. On request, we can prepare feasibility studies for technical realization including an estimation of the effort. We also like to offer our expertise for joint research and development projects.
Dr. Christiane Frank-Rotsch
Phone: +49 30 6392 3031
The Joint Lab für Electron Microscopy offers R& D services to external partners and research institutes. For further information or inquiries contact us directly via the contact form.
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