Anthony Peaker

Anthony Peaker

Prof

Personal profile

Biography

I am Emeritus Professor of Electronic Materials in the School of Electrical Engineering and Electronics. My research speciality is defects in semiconductors and the impact they have on devices. I joined the University in 1975 after spending 8 years as the manager of Ferranti's Photon Devices Group. This group produced the world's first commercial light emitting diodes emitting in the visible part of the spectrum. The topic of light emission from semiconductors (photoluminescence, LEDs and LASERs) has continued to be an important part of my research work at Manchester University. I was involved in the early work to develop LASERs and detectors for long distance fibre optic communications in the 1.33m and 1.54úm bands and III-V devices for low noise amplifiers. In 1983 I was granted leave to spend a year at Monsanto (now SunEdison) in St Louis USA on silicon materials research. When I returned to Manchester much of my subsequent work focussed on defects in silicon, germanium and silicon germanium. In 1997 I was granted a Royal Academy of Engineering Foresight Award to spend a year at the joint French-German (CNRS/Max Plank Institute) High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Grenoble working on novel methods to study defects in semiconductors and there worked extensively on the realisation of a working system for Laplace (high resolution) Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy. In the last few years I have devoted much of my time to the study of the electronic properties and application of quantum dot nanostructures in several different material systems using the techniques pioneered during my visit to Grenoble and was developed into a practical system firstly under an EU project and then very recently into an easily used versitile system under a UK EPSRC award. The technique is now being used by us in many diverse fields: to study the extremely thin dielectrics that will be used in future generations of integrated circuits. to understand ion implantation defects (in collaboration with the national facility at Surrey University where we have installed an in-line system for measurements during implantation, to look at degredation and defects in solar cells. Future developments include optically excited LDLTS to study quantum dots and very wide band gap semiconductors such as ZnO and GaN based materials. The work is described in more detail on our Laplace DLTS website.

Research interests

Laplace Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy

Photovoltaic Solar Cells

Radioactive Nuclides in Semiconductors

Electronic Properties of Quantum Dots abd Heterojunctions

Defect Reactions and Radiation Damage in Semiconductors

Hydrogen and Hydrogen Complexes in Semiconductors

Main Research Projects

Laplace Transform Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy: This is a method of detecting defects and impurities in semiconductors invented by us at Manchester. EPSRC funded the development of an instrument exploiting the technique. The instrument is now installed in laboratories across the world including CERN and an on-line installation at the University of Surrey Ion Beam Facility. The outcomes of the LDLTS project are in the public domain. I, with two colleagues (Leszek Dobaczewski and Ian Hawkins), were awarded the National Physical Laboratory Prize for Measurement for this work. We are now developing an optically excited version of LDLTS for wide band gap materials. This is funded by EPSRC under our Platform Grant.
Photovoltaic Solar Cells For many years I have worked on radiation damage of satellite cells and their degredation. Recently we (Vladimir Markevich, Bruce Hamilton and myself) have started working on the degredation of terestial silicon solar cells. We have recently been funded by EPSRC to undertake a detailed study of this issue. The project synopsis is available on the EPSRC website. The work is in conjunction with the University of Aveiro in Portugal, MEMC (Italy) and the University of Hameln (Germany)
Radioactive Nuclides in Semiconductors: Incorporating radioactive isotopes which change their chemical nature with time provides a unique way of studying the role of specific impurities in semiconductors. At the moment we are using this technique to study impurities in ZnO and Si using the ISOLDE facility at CERN under project IS492. It is hoped to apply similar techniques to the GaInN family of materials during 2011. 

Other Research Activities

Electronic Properties of Quantum Dots Quantum dots offer substantial potential for novel nano devices both the in group IV and compound semiconductors. Among the long list are memory cells and lasers. Although there is a wealth of optical information available on quantum dots information on electrical behaviour is very limited ... however for many devices the electrical behaviour is central to the application. We have a programme to study the behaviour of carrier trapping and the subsequent release of charge from quantum structures in the Ge/Si and in the InAs/GaAs systems. High-resolution Laplace Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy combined with resonant defect excitation methods is being used to study carrier retention at the confined states and explore tunneling mechanisms.
Germanium and Silicon Germanium:There is intense interest in making silicon-based ICs which can operate faster and with lower power consumption than existing devices by incorporating silicon-germanium alloys or even making the entire IC out of germanium. Our programme at Manchester is to investigate the properties of heterojunctions, intrinsic defects, impurities and other atomic-sized clusters in germanium, SiGe and silicon. This work links to our group IV photonics program.
Hydrogen and Hydrogen Complexes in Semiconductors: Hydrogen in silicon has being studied intensively at Manchester using a large number of experimental techniques. The incentive for the work carried out to date has been to understand the profound influence that hydrogen has on the electrical properties of semiconductors as a result of its interactions with virtually all impurities and imperfections, including intrinsic point defects as well as impurity atoms.

My group

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Photon Science Institute

Keywords

  • Laplace Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy
  • Non-radiatative recombination processes in semiconductors (LEDs, solar cells)
  • Radioactive Nuclides in Semiconductors
  • Solar energy using photovoltaics
  • light emitting diodes
  • GaN related materials

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