Gallium nitride high electron mobility transistors
Tomas Palacios with Will Chung and Bin Lu
A need for new materials
Silicon (Si) transistor technology is widely used in electronics, but the technology is reaching its physical limits; thus creating a need for new materials and device concepts. Nitride-based transistors are one of the most promising options due to their excellent electronic and thermal properties. Currently, state-of-the art Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors are grown on Silicon Carbide (SiC) substrates. In spite of the excellent performance of these devices, commercialization is hindered by the high cost of the SiC wafers. To reduce the cost, GaN transistors have also been grown on Si substrates, however the performance of these devices is limited by the high electrical conductivity and poor thermal conductivity of the Si substrate.
The technology from this project was spun out into a startup company, Cambridge Electronics.