The new approach does not require high temperatures or other crystals to act as seeds to grow the germanium crystal and the researchers said that the new method can be used to produce germanium films with a very large area, allowing for more potential applications.
Taizoh Sadoh of Kyushu University said that their method will open new ways to create advanced flexible electronics.
Charged particles move through germanium more readily than they do through silicon, making germanium a good material for electronics. In particular, it is a promising material for the thin-film transistors that are needed for flexible electronics.
However, for use in flexible electronics, the germanium would have to be grown on malleable materials, which tend to soften at temperatures above 300 degree Celsius. The challenge, said Sadoh, is to grow germanium at lower temperatures.
Using gold as a catalyst, Sadoh and his colleagues were able to grow germanium crystals at a temperature of about 250 degree Celsius. They were also able to grow them in such a way that their crystal structure has the proper orientation and electrical properties necessary for technological applications.
The study has been published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.
--ANI (Posted on 07-09-2013)