Optoelectronics to benefit from new thin-film standard

Dec. 14, 2006
A square centimeter semi-conductor with a 3- m-thick coating of aluminum, gallium, and arsenic (AlGaAs) has become the first standard for the chemical composition of thin-film semiconductor alloys issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Dubbed Standard Reference Material 2841, the button-sized standard will help calibrate equipment that makes semiconductor materials and devices.

The standard should make chemical analyses of AlGaAs films more accurate by an order of magnitude. This will reduce duplication of expensive reference wafers, increase the free exchange of thin-film materials among vendors and customers, and give the semiconductor industry better data on the relation-ship between material composition and properties. AlGaAs serves as a barrier material to boost conductivity in such applications as semiconductor lasers for optical disk drives and surgical lasers, as well as light-emitting diodes for traffic lights and medical instruments. SRM 2841 can be ordered at http://nist.gov/ts/htdocs/230/232/232.htm

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