Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Steven M. Durbin

Second Advisor

Dr. Asghar Kayani

Third Advisor

Dr. Damon Miller


Earth abundant element, MgSnN2, eco-friendly, molecular beam epitaxy, semiconducting II-IV-V2 materials

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Materials having a wide band gap (above 2 eV) can provide new alternatives for existing light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and other opto-electronic devices. Currently, many such devices are comprised of low-earth-abundant elements, such as gallium and indium, which are harmful to the environment to extract and difficult to recycle. Alternatively, MgSnN2 is an unexplored material comprised of earth abundant elements which benefit from a mature recycling infrastructure. This material has a predicted band gap of 3.43 eV, indicating that it could be a viable substitute for GaN (band gap of 3.4 eV), which is commonly used in LEDs and other device applications.

In this work, samples of MgSnN2 were grown via plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy, a high-precision process for depositing thin-film, crystalline materials on substrates. Since this material had not previously been experimentally realized, the process and parameters used to achieve high quality films were studied in depth. Several techniques were employed to analyze these samples, including reflection high-energy electron diffraction and x-ray diffraction. These techniques were used to determine the lattice constants, band gap, and crystal symmetry of a range of samples which were compared to the theoretical predictions of Jaroenjittichai and Lambrecht.