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
) on low threading dislocation density (3.1 × 106
) 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.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited