By Kari Williamson
The team lead by Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Xiuling Li, had to overcome the challenge of integrating the III-V group semiconductor material with silicon.
“The biggest challenge has been that III-V semiconductors and silicon do not have the same lattice constants. They cannot be stacked on top of each other in a straightforward way without generating dislocations, which can be thought of as atomic cell cracks,” Li explains.
Normally, semiconductors are placed as a thin film on top of wafers, but the Illinois team managed to grow tiny vertical strands of III-V indium gallium arsenide semiconductor from the silicon wafer.
The research has been published in the journal Nano Letters.