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A single crystal of either an elemental (e.g., silicon) or compound (e.g., gallium arsenide) semiconductor forms the basis of almost all semiconductor devices. The ability to control the electronic and opto-electronic properties of these materials is based on an understanding of their structure. In addition, the metals and many of the insulators employed within a microelectronic device are also crystalline.

Group iv (14) elements

Each of the semiconducting phases of the group IV (14) elements, C (diamond), Si, Ge, and α-Sn, adopt the diamond cubic structure ( [link] ). Their lattice constants ( a , Å) and densities (ρ, g/cm 3 ) are given in [link] .

Unit cell structure of a diamond cubic lattice showing the two interpenetrating face-centered cubic lattices.
Lattice parameters and densities (measured at 298 K) for the diamond cubic forms of the group IV (14) elements.
Element Lattice parameter, a (Å) Density (g/cm 3 )
carbon (diamond) 3.56683(1) 3.51525
silicon 5.4310201(3) 2.319002
germanium 5.657906(1) 5.3234
tin (α-Sn) 6.4892(1) 7.285

As would be expected the lattice parameter increase in the order C<Si<Ge<α-Sn. Silicon and germanium form a continuous series of solid solutions with gradually varying parameters. It is worth noting the high degree of accuracy that the lattice parameters are known for high purity crystals of these elements. In addition, it is important to note the temperature at which structural measurements are made, since the lattice parameters are temperature dependent ( [link] ). The lattice constant ( a ), in Å, for high purity silicon may be calculated for any temperature (T) over the temperature range 293 - 1073 K by the formula shown below.

a T = 5.4304 + 1.8138 X 10 -5 (T - 298.15 K) + 1.542 X 10 -9 (T – 298.15 K)

Temperature dependence of the lattice parameter for (a) Si and (b) Ge.

Even though the diamond cubic forms of Si and Ge are the only forms of direct interest to semiconductor devices, each exists in numerous crystalline high pressure and meta-stable forms. These are described along with their interconversions, in [link] .

High pressure and metastable phases of silicon and germanium.
Phase Structure Remarks
Si I diamond cubic stable at normal pressure
Si II grey tin structure formed from Si I or Si V above 14 GPa
Si III cubic metastable, formed from Si II above 10 GPa
Si IV hexagonal
Si V unidentified stable above 34 GPa, formed from Si II above 16 GPa
Si VI hexagonal close packed stable above 45 GPa
Ge I diamond cubic low-pressure phase
Ge II β-tin structure formed from Ge I above 10 GPa
Ge III tetragonal formed by quenching Ge II at low pressure
Ge IV body centered cubic formed by quenching Ge II to 1 atm at 200 K

Group iii-v (13-15) compounds

The stable phases for the arsenides, phosphides and antimonides of aluminum, gallium and indium all exhibit zinc blende structures ( [link] ). In contrast, the nitrides are found as wurtzite structures (e.g., [link] ). The structure, lattice parameters, and densities of the III-V compounds are given in [link] . It is worth noting that contrary to expectation the lattice parameter of the gallium compounds is smaller than their aluminum homolog; for GaAs a = 5.653 Å; AlAs a = 5.660 Å. As with the group IV elements the lattice parameters are highly temperature dependent; however, additional variation arises from any deviation from absolute stoichiometry. These effects are shown in [link] .

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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advantages of NAA
Sai Reply
how I can reaction of mercury?
Sham Reply

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