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Semiconductor Epitaxy and Analysis Laboratory (SEAL)


The Semiconductor Epitaxy and Analysis Laboratory (SEAL) includes the first University Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) facility developed in the state of Ohio (1994) and unique, world-class facilities to grow and characterize nanostructured electronic materials.  SEAL’s inception as OSU’s MBE Laboratory came via interdisciplinary funding from OSU’s Center for Materials Research to Professor Ringel and rapidly became the central laboratory around which massive expansion of the electronic materials, optoelectronics and device research areas has occurred.  Facilities for MBE growth of arsenide and phosphide based III-V compound semiconductors, epitaxial metallic multilayers, and SiGe, along with an array of sophisticated in-situ characterization tools, including x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), and scanning tunneling microscopy, are linked along a common ultra-high-vacuum transfer assembly so that flexibly in-situ sample transfer between all deposition and characterization chambers is feasible.  The ability to transfer between epitaxy chambers and atomic-scale and chemically-sensitive characterization tools within a UHV environment, coupled with the wide range of materials being studied [III-V compounds based on (Al,In,Ga)/(As,P), IV-IV semiconductors, magnetic and nonmagnetic metallic layers] make this a unique facility for leading edge research in electronic materials, heterostructures and nanostructures.  SEAL incorporates major facilities obtained with equipment grants to EMDL and also to EMDL’s collaborators from the College of Engineering, Department of Physics and the Center for Materials Research who have contributed capabilities to the SEAL UHV cluster.  Hence, the interdisciplinary nature of the Laboratory, which is at the core of its formation, translates into close collaborations between engineers, physicists, and industrial partners, providing unique research opportunities for students and senior researchers throughout the colleges of Engineering and Math & Physical Sciences.

SEAL also includes state-of-the-art materials and nanostructure characterization equipment vital to interrogate and understand properties of epitaxial materials.  Of particular note is a Tandem High Resolution X-Ray Diffractometer – Scanning Photoluminescence system, which allows for simultaneous high-resolution triple axis x-ray diffraction and PL mapping over large wafer areas, an essential and unique tool for the lattice-mismatched heterostructures being developed by EMDL.  Finally, SEAL is housed within Electrical Engineering’s 4000 sq. ft. Microfabrication Cleanroom facility, providing advantageous proximity to outstanding device fabrication facilities.

      Major Facilities:

  • Interconnected Ultra H-High-Vacuum (UHV) cluster of growth and analysis chambers, including:

  • MBE Chamber for III-As and III-P based semiconductors

  • Metal/GeSi MBE Chamber

  • Variable Temperature XPS/Auger/Cathodoluminescence Chamber

  • Variable Temperature STM Chamber


  • Pyrometric Interferometry

  • Nomarski (phase contrast) microscopy

  • Double Crystal X-Ray Diffractometer (rocking curves)

  • High Resolution Triple Axis X-Ray Diffractometer with Scanning

  • Photoluminescence and Environmental Stage

  • Electrochemical C-V Dopant Profiler

  • Hg Probe


The facility has no instruments.