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Vertical GaN-on-GaN Schottky Diodes as α-Particle Radiation Sensors

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School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore
2
Temasek Laboratories in Nanyang Technological University, Research Techno Plaza, 50 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 639798, Singapore
3
Center for Integrated Research of Future Electronics (CIRFE), IMaSS, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8603, Japan
4
National Isotope Center, GNS Science, Lower Hutt 5010, New Zealand
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2020, 11(5), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11050519
Received: 16 April 2020 / Revised: 5 May 2020 / Accepted: 8 May 2020 / Published: 20 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wide Bandgap Based Devices: Design, Fabrication and Applications)
Among the different semiconductors, GaN provides advantages over Si, SiC and GaAs in radiation hardness, resulting in researchers exploring the development of GaN-based radiation sensors to be used in particle physics, astronomic and nuclear science applications. Several reports have demonstrated the usefulness of GaN as an α-particle detector. Work in developing GaN-based radiation sensors are still evolving and GaN sensors have successfully detected α-particles, neutrons, ultraviolet rays, x-rays, electrons and γ-rays. This review elaborates on the design of a good radiation detector along with the state-of-the-art α-particle detectors using GaN. Successful improvement in the growth of GaN drift layers (DL) with 2 order of magnitude lower in charge carrier density (CCD) (7.6 × 1014/cm3) on low threading dislocation density (3.1 × 106/cm2) hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) grown free-standing GaN substrate, which helped ~3 orders of magnitude lower reverse leakage current (IR) with 3-times increase of reverse breakdown voltages. The highest reverse breakdown voltage of −2400 V was also realized from Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) on a free-standing GaN substrate with 30 μm DL. The formation of thick depletion width (DW) with low CCD resulted in improving high-energy (5.48 MeV) α-particle detection with the charge collection efficiency (CCE) of 62% even at lower bias voltages (−20 V). The detectors also detected 5.48 MeV α-particle with CCE of 100% from SBDs with 30-μm DL at −750 V. View Full-Text
Keywords: GaN-on-GaN; schottky barrier diodes; high-energy α-particle detection; low voltage; thick depletion width detectors GaN-on-GaN; schottky barrier diodes; high-energy α-particle detection; low voltage; thick depletion width detectors
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Sandupatla, A.; Arulkumaran, S.; Ing, N.G.; Nitta, S.; Kennedy, J.; Amano, H. Vertical GaN-on-GaN Schottky Diodes as α-Particle Radiation Sensors. Micromachines 2020, 11, 519.

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