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Open Access Nano Express

Non-oxidized porous silicon-based power AC switch peripheries

Samuel Menard12*, Angélique Fèvre2, Damien Valente1, Jérôme Billoué1 and Gaël Gautier1

Author Affiliations

1 Université François Rabelais de Tours, GREMAN UMR CNRS 7347, 16 Rue Pierre et Marie Curie, BP 7155, Tours Cedex 2, 37071, France

2 ST Microelectronics, 16 Rue Pierre et Marie Curie, Tours Cedex 2, 37071, France

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:566  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-566

Published: 11 October 2012


We present in this paper a novel application of porous silicon (PS) for low-power alternating current (AC) switches such as triode alternating current devices (TRIACs) frequently used to control small appliances (fridge, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, coffee makers, etc.). More precisely, it seems possible to benefit from the PS electrical insulation properties to ensure the OFF state of the device. Based on the technological aspects of the most commonly used AC switch peripheries physically responsible of the TRIAC blocking performances (leakage current and breakdown voltage), we suggest to isolate upper and lower junctions through the addition of a PS layer anodically etched from existing AC switch diffusion profiles. Then, we comment the voltage capability of practical samples emanating from the proposed architecture. Thanks to the characterization results of simple Al-PS-Si(P) structures, the experimental observations are interpreted, thus opening new outlooks in the field of AC switch peripheries.

Anodic etching; Meso- and microporous silicon; AC switch periphery; Electrical characterization