Substrate development for Epitaxial Thin Film Growth

The Science behind the research

We are developing a novel line of substrate materials for strain engineering in epitaxial thin films. Strain can have dramatic effects in thin films, for example performance enhancements have been achieved in semiconductor transistors by modulating strain in the transistor, which enhances electron mobility (or hole mobility) and thereby conductivity through the transport channel. Strain is induced in the thin film by lattice mismatch between the substrate and film. However, there is a limited range of commercially available substrate to do this.

Our approach is to use layer, cleavable perovskite oxides with tunable lattice parameters via doping. The cleavable aspect is particularly important as these materials often have natural cleavage planes that produce atomically flat surfaces removing the need for cutting and polishing the substrate.