2018年11月26日星期一

Thin-Film Trick Makes Gallium Arsenide Devices Cheap


Silicon is the stuff of computer chips, but if you want to build the fastest transistor or the most efficient LED, compound semiconductors—such as gallium arsenide (GaAs) or gallium nitride—are your best bet. In solar cells, for instance, ”gallium arsenide is more efficient than anything known to man,” says Rogers, a materials engineer. Some GaAs solar cells can convert about 40 percent of the sun’s energy into electricity, while silicon cells max out at about 20 percent efficiency.


The problem is that compound semiconductors are much more expensive than silicon. A 6-inch wafer of gallium arsenide costs about US $200, whereas a 200-millimeter wafer of silicon goes for roughly $40. So Rogers and his colleagues researched a new way to manufacture compound semiconductors and came up with a process that he says could make GaAs-based solar panels commercially competitive for utilities.





Source:Ieee

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