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Argonne National Laboratory

Advanced characterization of polytypic silicon carbide for quantum technologies

This project aims to realize next-generation platforms for quantum information science based on silicon carbide crystals that are promising theoretically but require development of rational synthesis strategies.
Favorable quantum states have been predicted in specific SiC crystal heterostructures. We aim to realize their formation through in situ X-ray diffraction studies during synthesis that feed back to theory.

Polytypic silicon carbide (SiC) heterostructures are poised to become a next-generation platform for solid-state quantum technologies. This project will lay the foundation for the world’s first SiC chemical vapor deposition (CVD) synthesis system compatible with high-energy x-ray diffraction and microscopy. By enabling fundamental in-situ studies of synthesis, such a system is critical to the identification and control of hetero-polytypic SiC structures.

Realizing such a system is a technological challenge. Thus, the goal of this project is to identify, mitigate and demonstrate the feasibility of the most challenging aspects of the design problem: How does one integrate coherent hard x-ray scattering with a CVD growth chamber operating at 2000˚ C? Ultimately, this work will culminate in a working high-temperature x-ray compatible chamber that is forward compatible with a full CVD chamber design for studies at the Advanced Photon Source, providing a critical step towards optimized synthesis of promising SiC polytypic heterostructures and delivering unique capabilities to Argonne.