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  1. Abstract

    In this study, we explore the rejuvenation of a Zener diode degraded by high electrical stress, leading to a leftward shift, and broadening of the Zener breakdown voltage knee, alongside a 57% reduction in forward current. We employed a non-thermal annealing method involving high-density electric pulses with short pulse width and low frequency. The annealing process took <30 s at near-ambient temperature. Raman spectroscopy supports the electrical characterization, showing enhancement in crystallinity to explain the restoration of the breakdown knee followed by improvement in forward current by ∼85%.

     
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  2. High-power electronics, such as GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs), are expected to perform reliably in high-temperature conditions. This study aims to gain an understanding of the microscopic origin of both material and device vulnerabilities to high temperatures by real-time monitoring of the onset of structural degradation under varying temperature conditions. This is achieved by operating GaN HEMT devices in situ inside a transmission electron microscope (TEM). Electron-transparent specimens are prepared from a bulk device and heated up to 800 °C. High-resolution TEM (HRTEM), scanning TEM (STEM), energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and geometric phase analysis (GPA) are performed to evaluate crystal quality, material diffusion, and strain propagation in the sample before and after heating. Gate contact area reduction is visible from 470 °C accompanied by Ni/Au intermixing near the gate/AlGaN interface. Elevated temperatures induce significant out-of-plane lattice expansion at the SiNx/GaN/AlGaN interface, as revealed by geometry-phase GPA strain maps, while in-plane strains remain relatively consistent. Exposure to temperatures exceeding 500 °C leads to almost two orders of magnitude increase in leakage current in bulk devices in this study, which complements the results from our TEM experiment. The findings of this study offer real-time visual insights into identifying the initial location of degradation and highlight the impact of temperature on the bulk device’s structure, electrical properties, and material degradation.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2025
  3. Thermal annealing is commonly used in fabrication processing and/or performance enhancement of electronic and opto-electronic devices. In this study, we investigate an alternative approach, where high current density pulses are used instead of high temperature. The basic premise is that the electron wind force, resulting from the momentum loss of high-energy electrons at defect sites, is capable of mobilizing internal defects. The proposed technique is demonstrated on commercially available optoelectronic devices with two different initial conditions. The first study involved a thermally degraded edge-emitting laser diode. About 90% of the resulting increase in forward current was mitigated by the proposed annealing technique where very low duty cycle was used to suppress any temperature rise. The second study was more challenging, where a pristine vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) was subjected to similar processing to see if the technique can enhance performance. Encouragingly, this treatment yielded a notable improvement of over 20% in the forward current. These findings underscore the potential of electropulsing as an efficient in-operando technique for damage recovery and performance enhancement in optoelectronic devices.

     
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  4. Abstract

    Local laser‐induced oxidation is an extremely valuable technique to perform high‐throughput optimization across multidimensional parameter sets. In this work, a versatile method is presented for the synthesis of titanium dioxide (TiO2) thin‐films with varying crystalline structures through the use of localized, visible, continuous‐wave laser‐processing. By controlling the laser intensity and the exposure time, the conversion of amorphous titanium disulfide (a‐TiS2) precursor films into distinct phases of TiO2is achieved and a laser‐induced oxidation phase diagram is constructed with the resulting material phases, including anatase, rutile, and black TiO2. By utilizing the dependence of phase formation on the rate and duration of laser energy input, mixtures of anatase and rutile phases are fabricated with controlled spatial arrangements. Photocatalytic properties of the synthesized films are evaluated using the degradation of nitrogen oxide (NOx) gas under UV illumination and an organic dye under white‐light illumination, revealing that mixtures of anatase and rutile phases demonstrate superior photocatalytic activity. The laser‐induced oxidation method highlighted showcases a strategy for precisely tailored phase composition for directly tunable properties, paving the way for in‐depth studies into structure‐property relationships in photocatalysis and other applications of metal oxide films.

     
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  6. Abstract

    Developing characterization strategies to better understand nanoscale features in two-dimensional nanomaterials is of crucial importance, as the properties of these materials are many times driven by nanoscale and microscale chemical and structural modifications within the material. For the case of large area monolayer MoSe2flakes, kelvin probe force microscopy coupled with tip-enhanced photoluminescence was utilized to evaluate such features including internal grain boundaries, edge effects, bilayer contributions, and effects of oxidation/aging, many of which are invisible to topographical mapping. A reduction in surface potential due ton-type behavior was observed at the edge of the flakes as well as near grain boundaries. Potential phase mapping, which corresponds to the local dielectric constant, depicted local biexciton and trion states in optically-active regions of interest such as grain boundaries. Finally, nanoscale surface potential and photoluminescence mapping was performed at several stages of oxidation, revealing that various oxidative states can be evaluated during the aging process. Importantly, all of the characterization performed in this study was non-destructive and rapid, crucial for quality evaluation of an exciting class of two-dimensional nanomaterials.

     
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  7. null (Ed.)