Silicon Carbide Nanomaterials for Harsh Environment 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 Pt/Ti/poly-SiC contacts in high temperature environments. Our metallization scheme, which also
includes an alumina protection layer, exhibits low contact resistivity after 500 hours at 450 °C in air. In addition, we are
investigating the growth mechanism of SiC nanowires to understand how growth parameters may be manipulated to achieve
specific SiC nanowire properties. The ability to control SiC nanowire polytype, growth orientation, and shape is essential for
obtaining specific optical and electronic nanowire characteristics. SiC nanowires with tailored properties are attractive
candidates for applications requiring high surface area coupled with extreme physicochemical stability, such as high-
temperature energy storage, field emission cathodes, gas sensing in harsh environment, and electrowetting applications.