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Crystal Films Grow on 'Universal' Substrate

Photonics Spectra
Jun 1997
Cornell University researchers are in the preliminary stages of demonstrating that crystals of any material can be grown on a substrate. If the technique proves successful, it could open the door for manufacturing a whole new class of optoelectronics devices including lasers, detectors, sensors and imaging systems. A major obstacle to the manufacture of various semiconductors is that single-crystal semiconductor thin films must be deposited on a crystal of the same lattice structure, otherwise defects will result and the semiconductor cannot be used. Even a 1 percent mismatch in lattice structures causes problems. The new technique involves rotating the thin film and bonding it to a substrate, causing the substrate to become compliant enough to accommodate a difference in lattice structure of up to 15 percent.

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