School Seminar Program

Swift heavy ion induced nano porosity in antimony based semiconductors

Dr Christian Notthoff
Department of Electronic Materials Engineering, RSPE, ANU

Nano-porous semiconductors have been identified as ideal building blocks for many optoelectronic, thermoelectric, thermo-photovoltaic and sensor devices, given the physical and chemical properties can differ significantly from their bulk counterparts. Swift heavy ion irradiation can generate fascinating porous structures in GaSb and InSb. The method is very efficient, easy to control and compatible with current manufacturing processes. Due to their narrow band gap, GaSb and InSb are interesting materials for photo-voltaic and thermoelectric applications and the controlled creation of nano-porosity paves the way for application specific tuning of the material properties.

In this talk I will present recent results on the interesting evolution of swift heavy ion irradiated GaSb and InSb. First the Ions damage/amporhises crystalline GaSb and InSb, followed by the evolution of fascinating porous structures and the formation of nano crystallites.  Off-normal irradiation breaks symmetry and leads to the accumulation of in plane shear stress, strong enough to cause macroscopic viscous-plastic flow of the entire irradiated sample area.

Dr. Christian Notthoff was awarded a Diploma (equivalent to MSc) in 2004, followed by a PhD in physics (2009), from the University Duisburg-Essen in Germany for his research in optical and electrical spectroscopy on quantum-rings, -dots and 2DEGs. He worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and an Adjunct Professor in the department of mechanical engineering at the University Duisburg-Essen (2009–2016), synthesising and characterising nanoparticles. Subsequently he was awarded a two year Research Fellowship from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to work at the Australian National University (2016–2018) to study the fabrication of nano-porous structures in antimony based semiconductors using swift heavy ion irradiation. Currently, he works as a Fellow on the development of a new in situ Raman-Nanoindentation system as part of an ARC Linkage Project. He is an expert in developing experimental methods for low temperature, high magnetic field optical spectroscopy, electrical characterisation of semiconductors, structural characterisation of nanoparticles, and synchrotron based research.

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