Low-defect density gallium nitride semiconductor

Greatly improved electrical properties derived from this material and process

Materials Electronics

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Scientists at the Army Research Laboratory has recently invented a low defect semi-conductor. The patented technology is available via patent license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.

Gallium nitride is being widely investigated for microelectronic devices such as transistors, field emitters, and optoelectronic devices. A major problem in fabricating gallium nitride-based microelectronic devices is the fabrication of the layers with low defect densities. Defects impact long-term device reliability. Primary contributors to defect density are the lattice and thermal mismatch between the sapphire substrate and the gallium nitride layer.

A research team at ARL has now been able to reduce defect density by growing gallium nitride layers on aluminum nitride buffer layers which are themselves formed on silicon carbide substrates. The approach provides an optimized metal-organic chemical vapor deposition growth parameter to produce log defect density, pendeo-epitaxial gallium nitride material within a large area (7 μm×100 μm). Devices fabricated on the pendeo-epitaxial GaN, such as Schottky diodes, show nearly two orders of magnitude reduction in leakage current and approximately 25% improvement in ideality factor, as compared to diodes of similar structure fabricated on non-pendeo material.


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