Becky Peterson Receives NSF CAREER Award for Research in Amorphous Semiconductors for Next Generation Electronics

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Becky Peterson

Prof. Becky Peterson, assistant professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, was awarded an NSF CAREER award for her research project entitled “Band Engineering in Amorphous Semiconductors."

In this project, Prof. Peterson will develop new alloys of amorphous oxide semiconductors with precisely tuned semiconductor energy band structures, in order to enable new categories of electronic and opto-electronic devices. This research is applicable to the next generation of high-power electronics and deep ultraviolet optoelectronic devices, with specific applications in renewable energy and health care.

Heterogeneous semiconductor interfaces are required to realize complex devices, including light emitting diodes, lasers, and high-frequency or high-power transistors. Currently, fabrication of semiconductor heterostructures require complicated growth methods to ensure crystalline lattice-matched interfaces. In this project, Prof. Peterson’s group will study the fundamental materials properties and bandgap tuning in alloys made of amorphous, or disordered, oxide semiconductors.

Prof. Peterson aims to understand the thermodynamic pathways available for meta-stable band-engineered amorphous alloy films, and to characterize the electrical and optical properties of these wide bandgap films as a function of alloy composition. This NSF CAREER project will bring together research and education by incorporating both undergraduate and graduate students on the research team, and engaging the entire team in outreach activities with the public and K-12 students.

Peterson graphic
(left) Current technology, showing epitaxial quantum barrier; (center) Proposed amorphous heterostructures [image adapted from Walsh et al.]; (right) Amorphous zinc tin oxide fabricated by PetersonLab at University of Michigan [image from Hu and Peterson.]

At University of Michigan, Prof. Peterson directs the PetersonLab, which does research toward “Electronics on Anything”: the 3-D additive hetero-integration of thin film electronics, including oxide power electronics, with CMOS, MEMS and multi-chip interposers, using solution-process approaches. She previously received a 2014 DARPA Young Faculty Award and a 2016 DARPA Director's Fellowship to continue research on the same project. 

Additional Information

The CAREER grant is one of the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards, conferred for "the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization."

Prof. Peterson’s award is in the NSF Division of Materials Research

NSF CAREER Award Posting of Prof. Peterson's award

January 11, 2017