Siberian scientists create laboratory growth of semiconductors for ISS

At the Institute of Semiconductor Physics (ISP), SB RAS, work began on the construction and testing of a pilot plant for the synthesis of semiconductor nanostructures "Ekran-M", which will be placed on board the ISS. This was announced on Friday, RIA Novosti Deputy Director for Science Institute, head of the project, Professor Oleg Pchelyakov.


The semiconductor electronics use crystalline materials that are grown in a high vacuum. The purity of the semiconductor materials depends homogeneity of the crystals, which allows you to modify and control their conductive properties by further insertion of impurities (doping).

According Pchelyakova, the synthesis of high-quality semiconductor materials on Earth requires facilities that cost millions of dollars and significantly inferior to the natural purity of the vacuum of space.

"The purpose of the project — the creation of minifabriki for new semiconductor materials in orbit. The wake of the board attached to the spacecraft by molecular screen — an area of super-deep vacuum and an ideal environment for the growth of semiconductor crystals, a kind of laboratory vacuum. It does not get even single molecules of a rarefied gas, not to mention oxygen and other elements, the lack of which guarantees the quality of the growing film semiconductor ", — Pchelyakov said.

Scientific explained that the atmospheric pressure in the vacuum space laboratory 100 times lower than the top surface of vacuum chambers. In addition, there is no shield shell walls — the main source of pollution — and does not require special cooling. This will produce a semiconductor structure for nanoelectronics and nanophotonics, in particular, solar cells solar cells based on silicon with an efficiency of over 30% compared to the existing 15%.

Work on the creation of a "Ekran-M" is conducted jointly with the Rocket and Space Corporation "Energia". SP Queen.

According to the source, the first successful test of samples of foils, of which planned to produce a molecular screen — cold-resistant and durable protective "umbrella" with a diameter of about three meters from the coating to prevent the accumulation of static charge and evaporation from its surface — took place on the international station "Mir" 1998. After flooding the station has stopped funding the project at the stage of creating ground-based vacuum system "Epicenter" — simulated space vacuum.

Several years of work on the project continued in the Institute of Semiconductor Physics at their own expense. Then funding resumed and completed all preparatory work.

In October, the Institute of Semiconductor Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences was the first transfer of RSC "Energia" to the third stage ("Screen-3 ‘), including the direct creation of installation, which will go into orbit. The total project cost is about 2 billion rubles, according to the project manager.

The expert said that the ISP SB RAS, together with Pilot Plant RAS and NPF "Electron" (Krasnoyarsk) will create three sample settings "Epicenter" — one for work in the Cosmonaut Training Center. YA Gagarin, the second — for the ground test bench with a full load and a third — directly to the organization of the pilot laboratory in orbit.

He added that in the case of successful completion of return on the project will be about four or five years.

NOVOSIBIRSK, October 28 — RIA Novosti, Maria Horn.

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