Engineered Crystallization of Atomic Layer Deposited Amorphous Metal Oxides


Lehigh University has developed low-cost but high quality crystalline substrates and coatings of metal oxides.  These substrates could be a replacement for other, more expensive coatings and substrates such as single crystal sapphire (aluminum oxide). Anytime an inorganic semiconductor is used it must be grown on a high crystalline quality substrate.  Such substrates can be expensive, so inexpensive substrates that do the same job could be very useful.  A good example is growth of GaN or other nitride-based semiconductors on alumina substrates.  Such crystalline thin films could also be used for chemical or mechanical coatings. This process is conducted at lower temperature than single crystal growth of metal oxides.  It allows for polycrystalline coatings of metal oxides on a wide variety of material substrates such as silicon and stainless steel foils.


The substrate material can be varied to a number of different materials as long as they are stable during the controlled crystallization.  Various crystal seeds can be utilized from bulk to nano-sized for initiating the crystal growth.  Thermal energy can be added to induce crystal growth by lasers, lamps or resistive heaters or other heaters.  The material undergoing crystallization could be a pure metal oxide such as alumina or titania or other.  The material could also be a mixed or doped metal oxide including gallium aluminum oxide or other combination.


Lehigh Tech ID#091113-01



The SSL (solid-state lighting) market is predicted to reach $33 billion by 2013, growing annually at over 10%.[1] This market is an umbrella market for LEDs, OLEDs, and PLEDs. LED technologies make up a majority of this market ($5.08 billion), with a growth rate of over 24%.[2] Additionally, 22% of the United States electricity is consumed by lighting, which costs consumers over $50 billion each year. SSL technologies have the potential to reduce this consumption by up to six times less. This potential has led to increased market need, funding resources and science centers dedicated to SSL developments, such as the $46 million Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) for solid-state lighting science funded by the Department of Energy.[3]



[1] “Solid-State Lighting Market Will Reach $33 Billion Worldwide by 2013.” web site. (accessed September 28, 2010).

[2] About Us.” GE Lumination web site. (accessed September 28, 2010).

[3] Solid-state lighting's contributions to national energy efficiency discussed at AAAS meeting.” February 21, 2010. PHYSORG web site. (accessed

September 28, 2010).



Lehigh University is initially interested in identifying industry partners to co-develop the technology, ultimately leading to licensing.

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Provisional [PR] United States 61/930,313 1/22/2014   3/20/2015
For Information, Contact:
Alan Snyder
VP, Research & Grad Programs
Lehigh University
Nicholas Strandwitz