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 environments. In addition, we are investigating the growth mechanism of SiC nanowires (NWs) to understand how growth parameters may be manipulated to achieve specific SiC NW properties. The ability to control SiC NW polytype, growth orientation, and shape is essential for obtaining specific optical and electronic NW characteristics. SiC NWs with tailored properties are attractive candidates for applications requiring high surface area coupled with extreme physicochemical stability (such as field-emission displays and high-temperature energy storage devices).