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Open AccessReview

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

School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore
Temasek Laboratories in Nanyang Technological University, Research Techno Plaza, 50 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 639798, Singapore
Center for Integrated Research of Future Electronics (CIRFE), IMaSS, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8603, Japan
National Isotope Center, GNS Science, Lower Hutt 5010, New Zealand
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2020, 11(5), 519;
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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