Annual Research Conference – The Highlights

28 01 2013

Last weeks internal research conference was a great success. Not only was it the first time that I haven’t been dragged into the organisation, but we made a good job of winning the prizes …

Sandip narrowly beat Neal to the poster prize with his work on the development of gas sensor arrays, following on from Ben Furnival.

SiC gas array high temperature

The winning poster

Neal took second with his work on amplifier structures for hostile environments, an area which will support a lot of our other work in sensor development.

SiC amplifier hostile environment

SiC Amplifier structures

On top of this, Lucy won the best presentation award, beating Karthik into second place. Her presentation used Prezi, which was something new to me and judging by the comments in the audience was new to most of us. She then went on to win the second best paper prize, making it a good day out for us all.


ICSCRM 2011 – Day TWO

14 09 2011

Second day of the conference started off with a couple of interesting talks on Graphene. In the first talk, they observed how graphene grown on n-type SiC and p-type SiC effects its I-V characteristics and its corresponding temperature behaviour. The second talk focused on intercalation of Ge atoms between SiC and Graphene layer to achieve ambipolar behaviour in epitaxial graphene.   We attended few more talks after this session on  SiC based BJTs and VJEFETs.

Then we had a very nice Lunch with Kurt, Travis, Ginger (all from NRL), Nick wright, Michael Briere (from international rectifiers inc) and some other guys from Keithley…..most part of our discussion during the lunch was on graphene, crazy american sports and Kurt’s unsuccessful attempts to be in the college American football team during his college days!!

After that i had an important meeting with Kurt about my project and then he introduced me to his big team of researchers. Had a very lengthy intriguing discussion about the graphene growth, and characterisation techniques with them, and some other serious players in graphene research from gremany joined in, which spiced up the whole discussion.

Later in the evening Lucy and I presented posters on Omid’s and Amits research work. Considering the fact that neither of us are experts in the field of DC-DC converters or Diamond,  both posters were decently received by the audience.

After the poster session, we went out for dinner with Raytheon guys and then to ‘Dow Corning’ Blues party. Then returned back to hotel tired. We are still struggling to adjust to the time variation 😦

After a very useful and pleasing day, tomorrow, i’ll be presenting HK’s poster on Noise and Lucy will be presenting Ben’s work on SiC sensors and simon’s SiC solar cells.


Contact failings

26 02 2011

The SIMS results are back from Loughborough Surface Analysis, who have been investigating the contacts of our long term JFETs. The results indicate that the predominant wear out mechanism in our devices is linked to the failure of the contacts, which is caused by oxidation at the NiSi surface. This should be an interesting problem to fix! Increasing the resistance of the contacts in our Finite Element simulations indicates that we can describe this accurately.

Elsewhere, our success with measuring noise in SiC JFETs has hit the buffers, as we can’t link up the existing kit to a hot plate and so would be stuck to measurements at just 25C. Obviously this is of no interest to us, so we are having to go out and build a new rig, based around a Stanford Research SRS760 we got from a second hand dealer. This could yet be a blessing in disguise as the software with our existing Agilent unit is very inflexible when it comes to deciding on the measurements you need, however it does have the ability to automatically extract noise parameters from the data.

The next challenge is the funding opportunity released from the Innovative Electronics Manufacturing Research Centre, who are looking to award around £1.5M to projects looking to sustain and develop high value manufacturing in the field of electronics. This would seem like an ideal opportunity for silicon carbide, as it has the potential to enable a wide range of possibilities which are not possible with conventional silicon.

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.

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High Temperature JFETs

3 12 2010

Despite the snow, the high temperature results are in! The first data shows gate leakage two orders of magnitude below the channel current and that’s at 400C!

silicon carbide JFET data 400C

First of Rupert's JFET data at 400C

JFETs and Circuits …

18 11 2010

The JFETs are back from being diced and so it’s time to move up a gear. The first challenge is to simulate the behaviour of our eventual circuits, so having spent hours and hours testing the devices, we’ve dropped the parameters into SPICE. We’re pretty happy with the results, as can be seen below…

Silicon Carbide JFET data SPICE

SPICE model for SiC JFET

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