Matt Margolis 3/3/14
GT Advanced Technologies’ (GTAT) epitaxial growth on thin lamina patent was published on 2/6/14. Epitaxy is defined as the growth of a thin layer on the surface of a crystal so that the layer of growth has the same structure as the underlying crystal. GT’s patent essentially enables the growth of a semiconductor material on a donor body, by firing GT’s Hyperion’s ion cannon which splits (exfoliates) the semiconductor material from the donor body, to form a super thin lamina (layer) of the semiconductor material. The resulting lamina from the first process can be exfoliated by Hyperion a second time to form an additional semiconductor lamina. The patent can be applied across a broad range of semiconductor materials to epitaxally grow GaN, AlGaN, AN, Ge, Ga(In)As, GaInP, AlGaInP, AlInP, InGaN, SiC, GaAs. The epitaxial layer may be doped as either n-type or p-type while it is being grown. The donor bodies for this patent include germanium, gallium arsenide, silicon carbide, silicon and gallium nitride.
One of the most interesting findings within this patent was related to PV (photovoltaic), specifically the creation of a triple junction PV cell and the ability to incorporate the thin (PV cell) lamina into an electronic device. Not only does GT have the ability to create thin film solar cells but they also have the ability to stack the thin film solar cells to form a triple junction PV cell that is still less than 25 microns thick before it is incorporated into an electronic device all while rocking a 40%+ efficiency rating. Below are some details from the epitaxial growth on thin lamina patent.
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