Olivia Schneble

Templated Vapor-Liquid-Solid Growth and Epitaxy of Compound Semiconductors


Olivia received a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College, where she focused on electronic materials and semiconductor device physics. After graduating in 2017, she worked for Intel Corporation on 3DXPoint, a non-volatile memory technology. Olivia is in the first year of her Ph.D. in Materials Science at Colorado School of Mines.


I am investigating a novel approach to low-cost growth of crystalline films, with a focus on epitaxy. The technique consists of depositing a thin film of metal and annealing it under gas containing the corresponding precursors, much like vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) nanowire growth, but using a capping oxide layer to confine growth to the substrate plane. A successful version of this process would require only a sputtering tool and a tube furnace to grow high-quality films epitaxially, making it extremely cost-effective. The current focus is growing indium phosphide (InP) because it is relatively defect-tolerant in a polycrystalline film, and to enables comparison with previous demonstrations of confined VLS growth of InP on glasses and metal foils. My work to date has demonstrated faceted crystalline growth on various substrates. Future steps will aim to control nucleation through patterned substrates and demonstrate epitaxy on a crystalline substrate.