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Applied Science and Convergence Technology 2011; 20(2): 77-85

Published online March 1, 2011

Copyright © The Korean Vacuum Society.

SiGe Alloys for Electronic Device Applications

Seung-Yun Lee


The silicon-germanium (SiGe) alloy, which is compatible with silicon semiconductor technology and has a smaller band gap and a lower thermal conductivity than silicon, has been used to fabricate electronic devices such as transistors, photodetectors, solar cells, and thermoelectric devices. This paper reviews the application of SiGe alloys to electronic devices and related technical issues. Since the SiGe alloy comprises germanium whose band gap is smaller than silicon, its band gap is also smaller than that of silicon irrespective of the ratio of silicon to germanium. This narrow band gap of SiGe enables the base thickness of bipolar transistors to decrease without a loss in current gain so that it is possible to improve the speed of bipolar transistors by adopting the SiGe-base. In addition, the conversion efficiency of solar cells is enhanced by the absorption of long-wavelength light in the SiGe absorption layer. Phonon scattering caused by the irregular distribution of alloying elements induces the lower thermal conductivity of SiGe than those of pure silicon and germanium. Because a thin film layer with a low thermal conductivity suppresses thermal conduction through a thermal sink, the SiGe alloy is considered to be a promising material for silicon-based thermoelectric systems.

Keywords: 실리콘-게르마늄,소자,밴드 갭,열전도도,Silicon-germanium,Device,Band gap,Thermal conductivity

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