The rise of 3D printing has enabled the speedy production of multiple components across many domains. This is because the methods have become more polished. However, until lately, nobody has had the capacity to create one-crystal supplies. The building section of semiconductors with conventional 3D printing procedures.
But this is about to change thanks to researchers from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), in Laurel, Maryland. They have shown a novel and innovative means to additively print gallium nitride, GaN. This material may be utilized to make half-conductor power machines and also radio-frequency components and light-releasing diodes. All these by use of a mix of liquid and gas.
This worked was recorded in “A pathway to compound semiconductor additive manufacturing.” It was published lately in the journal MRS Communications.
“Gallium nitride is a material of significant interest for optoelectronic applications, solar power generation and high power distribution,” Explained Jarod Gagnon, a materials scientist in APL’s Research and Exploratory Development Department and lead author on the paper.
He continued to say the following: “Being able to 3D-print semiconductors gives us the ability to make complex devices that are either too costly or too complex to make with current techniques. If we’re successful with our research, this will open a new path forward for a rapid change in how we operate in the semiconductor and electronic device field.”
According to Gagnon and his partners, GaN printing represents a new category of 3D printing they call gas-phase reactive AM. Preparing for work finished under a 2018 Combustion Grant, the team mixed additive manufacturing methods. In this situation, they used material extrusion with half conductor integration methods to counter with the elements as it is printed.
Gagnon explained that this is what enabled them to create one-crystal oriented material via epitaxial development.
The group is leading to report this theory. Gagnon attributes the lack of research to a disconnect among the two areas of additive manufacturing and half conductor integration.
All the 3D printing methods lead to polycrystalline materials limit the apps space at that project. All the methods include material jetting and extrusion, vat polymerization, binder jetting, and sheet lamination, and power bed fusion.
Gagnon said that he approached this issue from a half conductor perspective preferably. He noticed that they could modify and combine present procedures in both research fields to make something fresh and effective.
“That isn’t to say it wasn’t still a difficult challenge. Additive manufacturing processes and semiconductor processes both have a wide number of critical variables that affect the quality of the final product. Now that we’ve proven the viability of our process, we have double the number of variables that interrelate and have to be controlled and understood to demonstrate the ultimate quality and resolution of our process.” He added.
The needs for the procedure were so novel in a way that the team had to build and design a system. The system would enable them to carry out research. The team included Timothy Montalbano, Steven Storck, Michael Presley and Nam Le.