Antimonide-based Narrow Bandgap Semiconductors for Infrared Technology and Quantum Information Science
Abstract: Antimonide-based III-V semiconductors form an unique group of narrow bandgap materials as they are relatively mature to yield high-quality devices and are fab-compatible at industry foundries, yet still have many unanswered fundamental and scientific questions to investigate. Their small energy gap (<0.3 eV) corresponds to optical transitions in the infrared and terahertz regime which have tremendous potential in applications such as detectors, lasers, photovoltaic cells, spectroscopy, etc. In parallel, these narrow-gap compound semiconductors, comprised of large constituent atoms with intrinsically large spin orbit coupling, offer a great deal of advantages in semiconductor-based qubit technologies and spintronics.
In the field of infrared detection and imaging, antimonide-based materials have emerged as a serious alternative to the incumbent state-of-the-art Mercury Cadmium Telluride due to its superior “–ilities”: uniformity, stability, scalability, manufacturability, affordability. I have had the privilege to witness and contribute to its development from an embryonic phase of academic research and prototyping to the industrial adoption and maturation. Examples of both academic’s first and best demonstrations and industry’s application-focused R&D will be presented in the first half of the talk.
The latter half of the talk will address a fundamental research aspect of Antimonide-based quantum well structures and the role of materials research in quantum information science. InAs/GaSb quantum well is predicted to possess a quantum spin Hall state, where the bulk of the material is electrically insulating and the electrical current running along the edge is fully spin-polarized. In such a regime, it could host a Majorana zero mode, a quantum state that is topologically protected from ambient perturbation, and thus can be registered as error-free logical qubits. Another attractive venue for this quantum well structure is the hybrid with conventional superconductors to form voltage-controllable field effect superconducting transistors. This type of devices leverages the gate-tunability and manufacturability of semiconductor integrated circuitry to address the scalability challenges of state-of-the-art superconducting qubits. Current progress in the field and opportunities will be briefly discussed.
Biography: Dr. Binh-Minh (Minh) Nguyen is a Senior Scientist VII in the Sensors and Electronics Laboratory at HRL Laboratories where he manages R&D portfolio on antimonide-based semiconductor for infrared sensing technology and quantum materials. Nguyen received his Diplôme de l’Ecole Polytechnique in 2007 and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2010. His expertise includes device modeling/design, epitaxial growth, device fabrication and testing. Nguyen has authored/co-authored six book chapters and over 90 technical papers with over 4000 citations and an h-index of 39. He is a Fellow of SPIE and Senior Member of IEEE.