Researchers at Cornell University have found a heretofore unrealized property of gallium nitride (GaN) that could cause significant improvements in the electronic and wireless communication industries. The discovery was made when one of the researchers stacked a thin, un-doped GaN crystal on top of an aluminum nitride (AlN) crystal – which generated a high concentration of holes in the combined crystal structure. When compared to more traditional doping procedures, the researchers determined that the resultant hole gas increased the conductivity of the GaN by a factor of nearly 10. Through a collaboration with Intel, one of the researchers used this method to create highly efficient hole-channel (p-type) transistors. Now that this 2D hole gas generation phenomenon has been discovered, GaN transistors can be used to create a variety of high-power communication and energy efficient electronic devices.
Figure 1: Molecular structure of GaN, before introduction of hole gas with AlN. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wurtzite_polyhedra.png
Gallium Nitride (GaN) wafers and substrates can be found at MSE Supplies. GaN can be provided in a variety of forms, from templates on sapphire to free standing substrates to GaN high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) wafers on silicon, sapphire, or silicon carbide. Aluminum Nitride (AlN) wafers on sapphire or HEMT are also available for purchase.