Dr. Maha Khyyat

Assistant Professor
Umm Al-Qura University
Makkah, Saudi Arabia

MIT Department/Faculty Supervisor(s): 

Mechanical Engineering, Prof. Gang Chen

Fellowship Dates: 

11/27/2012 to 08/31/2013


King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)


Dr. Maha Khayyat is an Assistant Professor at Umm Al-Qura University, Physics Department. She received her PhD at the University of Cambridge (2004). Her doctoral work was focused on structural deformation of semiconductors induced by indentation.

Dr. Khayyat’s research interests include mechanical nondestructive tests of semiconductors (indentation) and phase transformations of semiconductors due to pressures’ application; PV solar cells using Si-NWs and flexible semiconductors; LED.

Dr. Khayyat’s professional experience includes the following: 

2005-2007 Collaborative Researcher:  Nano-indentation & TiO2 PV Cavendish Lab & Nanoscience Centre at University of Cambridge, UK 2005 (Summer time)

2008-2010 Associate Researcher at KACST:  PV cells fabrication Watson Research Center, IBM, NY, USA

Research Plan: 

Can we find new applications of Nanoscale Chemical Templating (NCT) technique?

     Nanoscale Chemical Templating (NCT) is a method of fabricating templated semiconductor nanowires on a surface of a semiconductor substrate for use in semiconductor device applications. Moreover, it includes patterning of a compound semiconductor substrate or other like substrate which is capable of forming a compound semiconductor alloy with an oxygen reactive element during a subsequent annealing step. This technique can be used in various applications including, for example, in semiconductor device manufacturing, optoelectronic device manufacturing and solar cell device manufacturing (see the following SEM micrograph).

      NTC using oxygen reactive materials is a technique that was invented in 2010 for the purpose of improving the efficiency of solar cells using Si nanowires seeded with Al [U.S. Serial No. US2011/0186804A1 filed on January 29, 2010 entitled "Nanoscale Chemical Templating With Oxygen Reactive Materials". Published on August 4th 2011, Inventors: M. Khayyat, B. Wcaser, D. Sadana]. In 2011 NCT was applied to improve the resolution of the AFM tips [U.S. Serial No. US 2012/0090057A1 filed on October 7, 2010 entitled "Production Scale Fabrication Method For High Resolution AFM Tipts". Published on April 12th, 2012, Inventors: G. Cohen, M. Reuter, B. Wacaser, M. Khayyat]. I believe there are other potential applications of NCT, such as blood purification.

Does spalled semiconductor crystals undergo structural phase transformations?

Studying structural stability of thin flexible Si crystals produced by spontaneous or manual spalling (a method to produce thin flexible layers of materials via sequence of steps) [YOR920100660US1, Filed on May 28th, 2011.Entitled “Low-Temperature Methods For Spontaneous Material Spalling” Inventors: M. Khayyat, N. Sosa, Katherine Seanger, S. Bedel, D. Sadana], [YOR920110185US1, Filed on April 5th, 2012 Entitled “Temperature-Controlled Depth of Spalling, Inventors: M. Khayyat, N. Sosa, K. Fogel, S. Bedel, D. Sadana].

It has been established that C-Si undergoes structural phase transformation due to indentation at room temperature [Effect of sample temperature on the indentation-induced phase transitions in crystalline silicon, M. M. O. Khayyat, D. G. Hasko and M. M. Chaudhri, JAP, 101, 083515 (2007)].

Throughout undertaking the scientific studies, I am hoping to learn many skills including writing a proposal in establishing a technology innovation center (such as functioning devices using solar cells).