Charged particles move through germanium more readily than they do through silicon. This makes 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 °C.
Through gold-induced-crystallization using α-Ge/Au/SiO2 stacked-structures by combining interface-energy-modulation of substratest, Taizoh Sadoh, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, and colleagues were able to grow germanium crystals, Ge(100) and (111), on amorphous-insulators at a temperature of about 250 °C. The researchers were able to grow the crystals in such a way that their crystal structure has the proper orientation and electrical properties necessary for technological applications.
The team says, their technique is very useful to realize flexible-electronics.
- Nucleation controlled gold-induced-crystallization for selective formation of Ge(100) and (111) on insulator at low-temperature (~250 °C),
Jong-Hyeok Park, Tsuneharu Suzuki, Masahi Kurosawa, Masanobu Miyao, Taizoh Sadoh,
Appl. Phys. Lett. 2013.