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Sunday, July 11, 2021

#473 Nitrides

This is to take note of nitrides as increasingly go to semiconductors in applications requiring wide bandgap.


The III-V compounds are typically classified based on the group V element forming a compound into nitrides, phosphides, arsenides and antimonides. In this class of compound semiconductors gallium nitride, GaN, is of key importance in both electronic and photonic devices. Outstanding characteristics of GaN is its direct and wide (Eg = 3.5 eV) energy gap. These bandgap’s characteristics make GaN uniquely suitable for the emission of short wavelength light in the blue range. As a result, and in addition to the lack of other single-crystal semiconductors featuring similar characteristics, GaN is a cornerstone material in blue and white light emitting semiconductor devices. Furthermore, wide bandgap makes it highly suitable for high-power/high-temperature device applications. The GaN technology is still somewhat hampered by the lack of free standing, low-cost, large area single-crystals GaN substrates upon which devices can be built In the light of these limitations, GaN devices are fabricated using thin-film GaN deposited on the substrates made out of the other materials including sapphire, silicon carbide, and silicon.  


Among other III-V nitrides, boron nitride, BN, and aluminum nitride, AlN, are attracting attention due the largest, direct energy gap among all semiconductor compounds (BN Eg = 6.4 eV, AlN Eg = 6.2 eV,). However, at the low electron mobility (BN µ =200 cm2/vs, AlN µ =300 cm2/Vs) their use in commercial devices is limited primarily to UV detection. Indium nitride, InN, on the other hand features rather narrow bandgap  (Eg ~ 0.7eV) and relatively high electron mobility µ = 3,200 cm2/vs. Still, InN is best used when alloyed with GaN to form InGaN.

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 01:14 PM | Semiconductors | Link is a personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University. With over forty years' experience in academic research and teaching in semiconductor engineering he has a unique perspective on the developments in this technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

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