The primary research focus of our lab is the growth and characterization of new semiconductor and nanocomposite materials with applications in energy conversion devices, electronics, and optoelectronics. A few of our research areas are briefly described here, but feel free to peruse our Publications or contact Prof. Zide for more detailed information.
Epitaxial Metal/Semiconductor Nanocomposites
Nanocomposites consisting of nanoparticles of rare-earth-group V materials (e.g. ErAs, TbAs) within III-V semiconductors (i.e. (In)GaAs) have properties unlike typical semiconductors; the nanoparticles appear to remain metallic even at this small size, and can drastically impact electrical conductivity, carrier lifetimes, optical absorption, and thermal conductivity of the composite. The rocksalt crystal structure of the rare-earth-group V materials provides a good epitaxial relationship with the zincblende structure of the III-V semiconductors, and allows interfaces which are not highly defective. These materials are useful for applications in tunnel junctions for multijunction solar cells, thermoelectrics, and photoconductive switches for terahertz sources and detectors.
Dilute Bismuthide Semiconductors
Incorporating a small amount of bismuth into III-V semiconductors causes anomalously narrow bandgaps, which can be modeled using a valence band anticrossing model. We have identified optimized growth conditions for the MBE growth of InGaBiAs on InP platforms and demonstrated bandgap narrowing in good agreement with theoretical predictions. We have recently measured electrical and thermal transport properties in these materials, which are highly promising for applications in thermoelectrics, mid-infrared optoelectronics, terahertz devices, and other (opto)electronic devices.