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NEWS | Sept. 17, 2014

NRL Team Honored with Japan Society of Applied Physics 2014 Outstanding Paper Award

By Donna McKinney

An interdisciplinary team at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has received the Japan Society of Applied Physics 2014 Outstanding Paper Award. This award is only given to a select group of papers that present excellent achievement in applied physics and are published in the last 24 months in Japan Society of Applied Physics journals, with less than 10 papers selected out of about 6,300.

The awarded paper describes NRL research that resulted in the first-time synthesis of large area, high quality GaN on graphene, the latter being previously formed on a wafer of semiconducting SiC. This is the first-ever demonstration of epitaxy of a conventional semiconductor on an 'inert' two-dimensional material, explains NRL's Dr. Charles Eddy, a materials engineer who heads the research team. Inert 2D materials, such as graphene, do not have out of plane bonds to permit epitaxial growth of materials. Here, we've combined a gentle, but temperature sensitive modification to the surface of the 2D material and a recently developed low-temperature epitaxial growth process to overcome this limitation. The ability to combine new 2D materials and conventional semiconductors with high quality interfaces opens up many opportunities for new electronic devices.

Eddy describes that the initial vision for the structures they have created is for use in transistors that could operate in the terahertz regime of frequency for various RF applications including communications and sensing.

Looking ahead, the research team continues to develop both 2D materials and the low-temperature epitaxial growth process (atomic layer epitaxy) to explore more advanced device structures for electronic and optoelectronic applications.

Members of the interdisciplinary team are: Dr. Neeraj Nepal (first author), Dr. Virginia D. Wheeler, Dr. Travis J. Anderson, Dr. Michael A. Mastro, Dr. Rachael L. Myers-Ward, Dr. Jaime A. Freitas, Jr., Dr. D. Kurt Gaskill, and Dr. Francis J. Kub from the Electronics Science and Technology Division (ESTD); Dr. Syed B Qadri from the Materials Science and Technology Division; Dr. Sandra C. (Hernandez) Hangarter and Dr. Scott G. Walton from the Plasma Physics Division; and Dr. Luke O. Nyakiti, (a former postdoc in ESTD now faculty at Texas A&M University).

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