Silicon Carbide Technology for Harsh Environment Sensing and Energy Applications [BPN424]
Silicon Carbide (SiC) is a material of interest to fabricate sensors and actuators able to operate in harsh environments. Particularly, its mechanical and electrical stability and its chemical inertness make SiC well suited for designing devices capable of operation in high temperature and corrosive environments. Harsh-environment stable metallization remains one of the key challenges with SiC technology. We are developing novel metallization schemes, utilizing solid- state graphitization, to improve the long term reliability of metal/SiC contacts in high temperature environemnts. In addition, strategies to integrate on-chip energy storage with SiC sensors and actuators could increase the portability, mobility, and utility of these harsh environment devices. Our group is currently developing all-solid state supercapacitors based on yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) or ionogel solid electrolytes, and SiC nanowire- or carbon-based electrodes. We are developing methods for conformal deposition of YSZ. We also are studying different types of ionogels, which maintain the electrochemical properties of ionic liquids and can be easily shaped for the desired applications. The ionogels have been demonstrated as an effective solid-state electrolyte material with good mechanical compliance and a large electrochemical window. Combination of electrode materials with high surface area and these solid-state electrolyte materials can be potentially used for harsh environment sensing and energy applications.