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Study of opto-electronic properties of ruby micro-crystals

Grant number: 07/01135-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2008
Effective date (End): February 28, 2010
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Condensed Matter Physics
Principal researcher:Antonio Ricardo Zanatta
Grantee:Leiliane Cristina Cossolino
Home Institution: Instituto de Física de São Carlos (IFSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

This research program focuses on the systematic investigation of ruby (or Cr-doped aluminum dioxide) microstructures. Within that context, films of aluminum-nitrate (AlN) containing chromium species will be prepared by cosputtering and submitted to thermal annealing treatments in an atmosphere of oxygen. Recent investigations conducted in our laboratory have shown that, under these conditions, ruby crystals (with dimensions in the µm range) develop on the surface of the AlN films. To explore in further detail both the synthesis process and the properties of these structures, AlN films with Cr contents in the ~ 0.0001-1 at.% range will be prepared and characterized by different techniques: (a) structural (Raman scattering), (b) opto-electronic (optical absorption and emission), (c) compositional (infrared absorption, ion beam analyses, photo-emission spectroscopy, etc.), (d) morphological (optical , electronic and atomic force microscopy techniques), etc. Whereas our initial efforts in this field were restricted to the investigation of only one Cr concentration (~ 0.0001 at.), and to the random production of the ruby micro-crystals, this research program aims: (1) the study of films with different Cr contents (kinetics of microstructures formation and/or new opto-electronic processes), and (2) the controlled development of microstructures by means of indentation processes. Finally, following a systematic and completely original approach, it is our hope to advance the understanding (and control) of these luminescent microstructures that exhibit potential interest as temperature and/or pressure probes. (AU)

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