Electronic & Optical Materials
Sandia National Laboratories is extending our world-class research and development of synthesis and processing of ceramics and polymers into novel electronic and optical components and devices for our government sponsors and industrial collaborators. Our capabilities include a wide variety of scientific disciplines including unique synthesis techniques, novel processing routes, characterization tools, process-integration options, and device-testing facilities. The underlying theme of these capabilities is the search for understanding the physical phenomena responsible for observed effects.
Sandia has demonstrated significant expertise in fabricating bulk, thin-film, and thick-film materials and components using chemical preparation techniques. Two important techniques are chemical precipitation of powders and sol-gel deposition of films. We have developed a wide variety of processing techniques to achieve dense materials with controlled morphology, crystallographic phase, orientation, and grain size for numerous applications. In addition, we can apply and pattern various electrode materials for electrical testing and prototype-device development for a wide variety of customers.
Characterization facilities are available for evaluating all relevant structural features and electrical properties, including novel techniques such as backscattered electron Kikuchi patterns and micro-focus x-ray diffraction for micron-level phase analysis; cantilever and resonance piezoelectric evaluation; imaging opto-electronic characterization; and electron-paramagnetic resonance. Sandia has a suite of capabilities for device prototyping, aging/reliability evaluation, and characterizing process integration steps. We also maintain a unique sputtering capability for depositing compositionally precise, uniform thickness layers on wafers up to 8" in diameter and evaluating stress development.
- Through our novel application of reactive atmosphere rf sputtering, we have developed photosensitive, germanosilicate glass materials exhibiting uv-induced, stable refractive index changes 100 times higher than the current state of the art. The enhanced photosensitivity is attributed to our ability to engineer the atomic-level defect states present in the material through process controls. Using such materials, complex optical-device structures (e.g., waveguides, gratings, and binary optics) can be fabricated using a single, direct-write optical procedure. The fact that these glasses exhibit high photosensitivity without postsynthesis processing greatly improves their integrability with existing materials and technologies used in producing high areal-density photonic circuits.
- We achieved a world-best critical current density of 3 MA/cm2 at 77 K for crystallographically aligned, sol-gel derived YBa2Cu3O7-x superconductor films.
- We have engineered inks that can be uniformly deposited on nonplanar plastic substrates by micropen technology and processed to yield passive electronic ceramic devices, such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors.
In-plane and out-of-plane gratings produced by refractive index changes.
- Sandia has developed uncooled IR detector arrays integrating different film-deposition technologies allowing high-volume manufacturability and state-of-the-art sensitivity.
- Our understanding and control of atomic-scale defects in selected inorganic glasses, polymers, and hybrids that can be activated by subsequent laser "writing" has enabled us to form patterns of different refractive index. Different gratings and waveguides have been demonstrated.
Single-crystal PMN/PT with d33 of 2,600 pm/V.
- Single-crystal, piezoelectric actuators with huge displacements have been prototyped and tested.
Cross section of silicon MEMS piezoelectric motion detector with 5 pC/g sensitivity, similar to commercial miniature accelerometers, but in 10 times smaller volume.
- We have developed polyconjugated polyfilm dielectrics with k › 5 as alternatives for dc bus capacitors used in the automotive industry.
Piezoelectric films have been integrated onto silicon cantilevers to produce accelerometers with large-volumetric sensitivity
Contacts: William Hammetter, (505) 272-7603, email@example.com