The Si-SiO2 interface is undoubtedly one of the best studied and understood interfaces used in electronic devices today. However, recent work at Oxford has shown that electrical characteristics of this interface cannot be fully explained by the currently established models of charge dynamics. This project aims to shed light into these unexplained observations, via a combination of experiments and modelling work. It will involve measuring electrical properties of the interface using established techniques like admittance spectroscopy, XPS, and DLTS, and revising the current models that describe the physics of this interface to account for new observations. This project is best suited for someone keen to write Matlab code, explore different modelling approaches, and develop software analysis routines. The Si-SiO2 interface is not only of importance for microchips, but it is the sole responsible in minimizing surface losses in silicon solar cells. The understanding from this project can result in improve processing of commercial solar panels, and the mitigation of climate change.
The description above outlines a possible new research project being offered to prospective new postgraduate students.