January …

31 01 2011

It’s been a quick month. So much has happened, there’s hardly been time to blink. Lucy started today, which brings the size of the team up to eleven (must get a new group photo!), so the push is going to be on getting people to graduate. First up will be Rupert, then Hassan, Simon and possibly Ben in the final run up to Christmas. It’s going to be a busy year for thesis proofing, not to mention the cost of printing, binding, etc
Last week was the internal research conference, the PGC2011, which after some initial challenges has proved to be extremely well and efficiently run. With plenary talks from Imagination Technologies (the people behind all kinds of clever integrated circuits and Pure DAB radios) and Dyson, this is the chance for all the researchers in the School to showcase their work. Two days of high quality talks and posters, coupled with a decent quantity of food, the efforts of Shirin and the rest of the committee have been well placed.
On top of that, teaching started again this morning, so my time is now spent enthusing large numbers of people about the joys of semiconductors and optoelectronics.

Simon’s submission to the IET Wireless Sensor Systems journal has been accepted and with Rupert’s paper in the Journal of Instrumentation now in press, that’s two papers out in the first month. Hopefully a trend I can maintain, especially with the REF looming.
In terms of our research, the burn in trials have demonstrated that our JFETs can cope well at 400C for over 1000 hours, although at 500C they degrade both in terms of the saturation current and the turn on voltage. It appears that contact issues are to blame for this and the devices have been sent to Loughborough Surface Analysis to see if we can investigate this with SIMS. A similar story has been demonstrated for our MIS gas sensors. At 400C the post deposition anneal has improved the device characteristics, in terms of Dit and oxide charge, however, 500C is a step too far. Simon is currently looking at 450C annealing, although it is early days as yet.

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