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Samarium Sulfide Semiconductors


Development of Samarium Sulfide Based Semiconductor Technology and its Usage while Serial Fabrication of Primary Semiconducting Transducers

Tech Area / Field

  • MAN-MAT/Engineering Materials/Manufacturing Technology
  • NNE-MEC/Miscellaneous Energy Conversion/Non-Nuclear Energy

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Russian Academy of Sciences / Physical Technical Institute, Russia, St Petersburg

Supporting institutes

  • NPO Lavochkin, Russia, Moscow reg., Khimki\nScientific Industrial Association "Impuls", Russia, St Petersburg


  • Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), USA, IL, Argonne\nPowerco, Italy, Brindisi

Project summary

Primary semiconducting transducers (PST) find an application to some extent practically in all areas of techniques, performing the role of physical values gauges or energy sources (thermoelements). The project is directed to solution of techniques requirements satisfaction problem, confined with its transition to the contemporary level, characterized with wide electronics achievements usage. The effective way of the problem solution is introduction of the new material for PST, which is free of shortcomings inherent in existing materials in both PST fabrication sphere and in their exploitation. Optimal in this sense to our view are semoconducting materials on the base of samarium sulfide (SmS). They exceed all the existing materials in electrical resistance sensitivity to deformations, in thermoelectrical parameters, in radiation stability and also posses high thermal stability (Tm ~ 2,300 °C). In addition to this there are some physical prerequisites for high technology fabrication of semiconducting structures on their basis ensuring: high charge carriers concentration, isotropy of the effects, the presence of the controlled semiconductor-metal phase transition, technologically suitable value of the temperature coefficient of linear expansion et. al. All of this must ensure high SmS based PST competition ability in the inner and world markets.

The Project's participants collective is presented by three groups, which are leading each in their own field in our country. The group from A.F.Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute presents Rare Earth Physics Laboratory, which was the leading organization on this theme in the former USSR. Its participants were dealt with samarium sulfides properties investigation and then with tenzosensitive materials on their basis elaboration from the beginning of 70-th. They elaborated the basis of the technology suggested. The main physical effects, determined SmS as a unique for technical applications (the record for solids tenzosensitivity coefficients values and anomalously high thermoemf values), were determined by the Head of the Project Doctor of Technical Sciences V.V.Kaminski. The group from S.A.Lavochkin Scientific Industrial Association (SIA) is a recognized leader in its branch in the mechanical values tenzoresistive gauges field and it has experience in working out technological line on the metallic foil tenzoresistors fabrication. The group began dealing with SmS tenzoresistors from the beginning of 80-th. The first tensoresistors on SmS and tenzoresistive gauges with practical application have been done by this group. Its leader N.M.Volodin has the title of Honored Machine Builder of Russian Federation. He is the author of the main part of inventions on this theme. The group from "Impuls" SIA is the leading one in Rocket Space Agency in the field of microelectronics. It possesses the whole cycle of serial silicon based semiconducting structures fabrication and has a great experience in flexible technological lines creation. Head of the group S.A.Minyaev is the author of large number of closed works.

The Project concerns to "Technology Development" category. In the result of its realization the following tasks will be solved:

1. Industrial technology of fabrication of various thin films structures on the basis of new semiconducting material – samarium sulfide will be developed.

2. Experimental technological lines for serial fabrication of physical values resistive type gauges (mechanical and thermal) on the basis of structures with SmS usage will be created.
3. Thermoelectric elements for transforming thermal energy into electrical one on the basis of the structures with SmS usage will be elaborated and will be fabricated.

Industrial semiconducting production technology on the basis of samarium sulfide was nowhere developed earlier and technological line of such kind will be created for the first time.

Economical efficiency of the line calculated was 6 $/$, economical potential of elaboration results – $ 6.7 millions. It follows from estimations that at the Project's success only in one its part (thermo-, baro- and tenzoresistors fabrication, where success is practically guaranteed) the expenses of the whole Project will be compensated for 1–2 years. For this reasons technological line should produce approximately 200 thousands resistors per year, what seems quite reasonably. The market demands are quite high for adaptation such quantity, because it is supposed elaboration of the physical values gauges of wide implementation: construction, geology, power, mechanical engineering, motor industry, shipbuilding, scientific research etc. It will be the gauges of pressure, forces, movings, deformations, weight gauges, gauges of temperature, vibration, consumption etc.

The Project satisfies to the basic aims of ISTC. As have shown the results of preliminary study, the gauges on SmS are reliable in different gaseous, liquid, pour and plastic (glass-, carbonplastics etc) mediums and also in mining rocks, soils, in conditions of eternal freezing and extreme radiation. They have long-term serviceability under closing up in concrete constructions while their flood filling. Those results allow hoping for successful implementation of the gauges on SmS in environment protection area, reliability of construction structures, safety of nuclear reactors. There are concrete plans for realization of possibilities pointed out. Supposed fabrication of thermoelectric elements is directly connected with the problem of power production. The development of new branch of semiconducting fabrication will allow creating workplaces for tens or hundreds (depending from development success) scientists and engineers confined now with weapons fabrication.

The work will be proceeded in three directions:

– Development of technology, consisting in completion and fitting of existing laboratory technology of SmS based thin films structures fabrication under conditions of serial fabrication and also in interface of this technology to the semiconducting technology, well advanced to the present time, for silicon.
– Development and fabrication of competitive and Hi-Tec types of physical values gauges, including fitting of developed technology with existing one for gauges fabrication.
– Development and fabrication of thermoelectrical elements with SmS peculiarities using.

Supposed collaborators:

– italian private Company "Powerco s.r.l.";
– professor Rognald Mc Ewen from Great Britain.

The volume of partnership:

– information exchange while Project realization;
– submission of the comments to the technical reports;
– crossing results checking;
– amination and estimation of equipment/technology;
– participation in technical examination of Project activities,
– joint seminars holding.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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