Ca3SiO, a chemical compound discovered by researchers, is a direct transition semiconductor, making it a potentially bright infrared LED and infrared detector component. This semiconductor compound, made up of calcium, silicon, and oxygen is inexpensive and non-toxic. Today’s infrared semiconductors contain toxic chemical elements like cadmium and tellurium. Ca3SiO could be used to create cheaper and safer near-infrared semiconductors.
Many applications have used infrared wavelengths, including optical fiber communications, photovoltaic power generation, and night vision devices. Toxic chemical compounds are present in existing semiconductors capable of emitting infrared radiation (i.e., direct transition semiconductors). Creating high-performance infrared devices with a non-toxic, direct transition semiconductor compound with an infrared bandgap is preferable.
Materials’ semiconductive properties, such as the energy band gap, have traditionally been controlled by combining two chemical elements on the left and right sides of group IV elements, such as III and V or II and VI. This conventional strategy, which uses heavier elements to narrow the energy band gap, has resulted in the development of direct transition semiconductors containing toxic elements like mercury cadmium telluride and gallium arsenide.
The researchers intend to create high-intensity infrared LEDs and highly sensitive infrared detectors by synthesizing these compounds as large single crystals, developing thin film growth processes, controlling their physical properties via doping, and transforming them into solid solutions.
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