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Methods of producing free-standing semiconductors using sacrificial buffer layers and recyclable substrates

United States Patent

May 26, 2015
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
Techniques for Growth of Lattice-Matched Semiconductor Layers
A method of producing semiconductor materials and devices that incorporate the semiconductor materials are provided. In particular, a method is provided of producing a semiconductor material, such as a III-V semiconductor, on a spinel substrate using a sacrificial buffer layer, and devices such as photovoltaic cells that incorporate the semiconductor materials. The sacrificial buffer material and semiconductor materials may be deposited using lattice-matching epitaxy or coincident site lattice-matching epitaxy, resulting in a close degree of lattice matching between the substrate material and deposited material for a wide variety of material compositions. The sacrificial buffer layer may be dissolved using an epitaxial liftoff technique in order to separate the semiconductor device from the spinel substrate, and the spinel substrate may be reused in the subsequent fabrication of other semiconductor devices. The low-defect density semiconductor materials produced using this method result in the enhanced performance of the semiconductor devices that incorporate the semiconductor materials.
Ptak; Aaron Joseph (Littleton, CO), Lin; Yong (Albuquerque, NM), Norman; Andrew (Evergreen, CO), Alberi; Kirstin (Denver, CO)
Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC (Golden, CO)
13/ 990,756
December 1, 2010
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308 between the United States Department of Energy and the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, the Manager and Operator of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.