Indium antimonide

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Indium antimonide
Ball and stick cell model of indium antimonide
Sample of crystalline indium antimonide
Identifiers
CAS number 1312-41-0 YesY
PubChem 3468413
ChemSpider 2709929 YesY
EC number 215-192-3
UN number 1549
RTECS number NL1105000
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Properties
Molecular formula InSb
Molar mass 236.58 g mol−1
Appearance Dark grey, metallic crystals
Density 5.775 g cm-3
Melting point 527 °C (981 °F; 800 K)
Band gap 0.17 eV
Electron mobility 7.7 mC s g-1 (at 27 °C)
Thermal conductivity 180 mW K-1 cm-1 (at 27 °C)
Refractive index (nD) 4.0
Structure
Crystal structure Zincblende
Space group T2d-F-43m
Coordination
geometry
Tetrahedral
Hazards
GHS pictograms The exclamation-mark pictogram in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) The environment pictogram in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)
GHS signal word WARNING
GHS hazard statements H302, H332, H411
GHS precautionary statements P273
EU classification Harmful Xn Dangerous for the Environment (Nature) N
R-phrases R20/22, R51/53
S-phrases S61
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 YesY (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Infobox references

Indium antimonide (InSb) is a crystalline compound made from the elements indium (In) and antimony (Sb). It is a narrow-gap semiconductor material from the III-V group used in infrared detectors, including thermal imaging cameras, FLIR systems, infrared homing missile guidance systems, and in infrared astronomy. The indium antimonide detectors are sensitive between 1–5 µm wavelengths. Indium antimonide was a very common detector in the old, single-detector mechanically scanned thermal imaging systems. Another application is as a terahertz radiation source as it is a strong photo-Dember emitter.

History[edit]

InSb crystals have been grown by slow cooling from liquid melt at least since 1954.[1]

Physical properties[edit]

InSb has the appearance of dark-grey silvery metal pieces or powder with vitreous lustre. When subjected to temperatures over 500 °C, it melts and decomposes, liberating antimony and antimony oxide vapors.

InSb is a narrow-gap semiconductor with an energy band gap of 0.17 eV at 300 K and 0.23 eV at 80 K. The crystal structure is zincblende with a 0.648 nm lattice constant.[2]

Undoped InSb possesses the largest ambient-temperature electron mobility (78000 cm2/(V*s)),[3] electron drift velocity, and ballistic length (up to 0.7 μm at 300 K)[2] of any known semiconductor, except for carbon nanotubes.

Indium antimonide photodiode detectors are photovoltaic, generating electric current when subjected to infrared radiation. InSb's internal quantum efficiency is effectively 100% but is a function of the thickness particularly for near bandedge photons.[4] Like all narrow bandgap materials InSb detectors require periodic recalibrations, increasing the complexity of the imaging system. This added complexity is worthwhile where extreme sensitivity is required, e.g. in long-range military thermal imaging systems. InSb detectors also require cooling, as they have to operate at cryogenic temperatures (typically 80 K). Large arrays (up to 2048x2048 pixels) are available.[5] HgCdTe and PtSi are materials with similar use.

A layer of indium antimonide sandwiched between layers of aluminium indium antimonide can act as a quantum well. In such a heterostructure InSb/AlInSb has recently been shown to exhibit a robust quantum Hall effect.[6] This approach is studied in order to construct very fast transistors.[7] Bipolar transistors operating at frequencies up to 85 GHz were constructed from indium antimonide in the late 1990s; field-effect transistors operating at over 200 GHz have been reported more recently (Intel/QinetiQ). Some models suggest that terahertz frequencies are achievable with this material. Indium antimonide semiconductor devices are also capable of operating with voltages under 0.5 V, reducing their power requirements.

Growth methods[edit]

InSb can be grown by solidifying a melt from the liquid state (Czochralski process), or epitaxially by liquid phase epitaxy, hot wall epitaxy or molecular beam epitaxy. It can also be grown from organometallic compounds by MOVPE.

Device applications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Avery, D G; Goodwin, D W; Lawson, W D; Moss, T S (1954). "Optical and Photo-Electrical Properties of Indium Antimonide". Proceedings of the Physical Society. Series B 67 (10): 761. doi:10.1088/0370-1301/67/10/304. 
  2. ^ a b Properties of Indium Antimonide (InSb)
  3. ^ Rode, D. L. (1971). "Electron Transport in InSb, InAs, and InP". Physical Review B 3 (10): 3287. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.3.3287. 
  4. ^ Avery, D G; Goodwin, D W; Rennie, Miss A E (1957). "New infra-red detectors using indium antimonide". Journal of Scientific Instruments 34 (10): 394. doi:10.1088/0950-7671/34/10/305. 
  5. ^ M. G. Beckett "High Resolution Infrared Imaging", PhD thesis, Cambridge University (1995) Chapter 3: Camera
  6. ^ J. A. Alexander-Webber et al. "High-current breakdown of the quantum Hall effect and electron heating in InSb/AlInSb", Phys. Rev. B 86, 045404 (2012) [1]
  7. ^ 'Quantum well' transistor promises lean computing

External links[edit]