Silicon Carbide (SiC) is a material of interest to fabricate sensors and actuators able to operate in harsh environments. Particularly, its mechanical and electrical stability and its chemical inertness make SiC well suited for designing devices capable of operation in high temperature and corrosive environments. Harsh-environment stable metallization remains one of the key challenges with SiC technology. We are developing novel metallization schemes, utilizing solid-state graphitization, to improve the long-term reliability of Pt/Ti/poly-SiC contacts in high temperature environments. Our metallization scheme, which also includes an alumina protection layer, exhibits low contact resistivity after 500 hours at 450 °C in air. In addition, we are investigating the growth mechanism of SiC nanowires to understand how growth parameters may be manipulated to achieve specific SiC nanowire properties. The ability to control SiC nanowire polytype, growth orientation, and shape is essential for obtaining specific optical and electronic nanowire characteristics. SiC nanowires with tailored properties are attractive candidates for applications requiring high surface area coupled with extreme physicochemical stability, such as high- temperature energy storage, field emission cathodes, gas sensing in harsh environment, and electrowetting applications.
Project end date: 08/26/15