Hope College Department of Physics and Engineering
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Summer 2006
Project Summary


Project Title: Scandium Nitride Thin Film Semiconductor
Student Name: David Maxwell (with Travis Getzie)
Student's Home Institution: Hope College
Research Advisor: Dr. Mark Little
Source of Support: NSF-REU Grant No. 0452206
The properties of the semiconductor scandium nitride were investigated using several techniques such as Hall mobility, optical absorption, and X-ray diffraction. The scandium was sputtered in an ionized N2 -Ar atmosphere using DC sputtering. Samples were grown on sapphire substrates and contacts were sputtered or evaporated on post-growth. Early results for optical absorption show band-gaps from 2.6-2.9 eV. X-ray diffraction suggested an amorphous crystal structure. Hall mobility measurements show a trend with growth temperature but better contacts will be needed. Issues with contacts also arose when trying to form a Schottky contact. High work-function metals such as nickel and selenium were used but showed not to be Schottky. RBS analysis also showed the samples had oxygen content around 10 to 30 percent with the thicker samples having a diffused oxygen content. Investigation of similar semiconductors such as zinc oxide and indium nitride will be pursued.

*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF-REU Grant No. 0452206