Wide-Band-Gap Semiconductors for Energy and Electronics

A special issue of Condensed Matter (ISSN 2410-3896).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 3811

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: wide bandgap semiconductors; power electronics; ferroelectrics; photovoltaics; metal oxide semiconductors; SiC; GaN; Ga2O3
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Groupe d'Etude de la Matière Condensée, CNRS, UVSQ, Université de Paris Saclay, Versailles, France
Interests: wide band gap oxides; semiconductor; thin films; spintronics; magnetic properties

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Guest Editor
Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
Interests: silicon carbide; gallium nitride; silicon power electronics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, there has been renewed interest in wide and ultra-wide semiconductors as materials for energy and electronics. Batteries, fuel cells or solar cells, among other energy production and storage devices, can be improved by the introduction of WBG. For these applications, WBG can add new aspects in ultra-efficient anodes, nanocomposites, or as extraction layers for electrons and holes, among many other applications.

For power electronics, WBG such as silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN), or gallium oxide (Ga2O3) allow power electronic components to be smaller, faster, more reliable, and more efficient than their silicon (Si)-based counterparts. There is a large range of opportunities that are being opened up by the mainstream adoption of wide bandgap semiconductors for power electronics, making it possible to reduce weight, volume, and life-cycle costs in a wide range of power applications, resulting in dramatic energy savings in industrial processing and consumer appliances, the accelerated widespread use of electric vehicles and fuel cells, and helping to integrate renewable energy onto the electric grid.

Some frontier semiconductors such as AlGaO and AlGaN are now perhaps among the most promising material systems to extend the WBG beyond 5eV in the emerging field of ultra-wide bandgap semiconductors. This area of research is growing fast, as we are pushing the limits of semiconductors with wider bandgaps, critical electric fields, and power figure of merits.    

In addition, some WBG materials can be engineered to be transparent, flexible, or biocompatible, which will certainly pave the way for new electronic and energy avenues—in particular, transparent conducting oxides for optoelectronics where new amorphous WBG oxides are revolutionizing the field. Another vibrant related field of research are deep UV optoelectronics, where wide and ultra-wide bandgap materials promise to extend the current range of deep UV photodiodes, detectors, and also LEDs well below the visible range.   

The present Special Issue is devised as a collection of articles, reporting both concise reviews of recently obtained results and new findings produced in this broad research area.

Dr. Amador Pérez Tomás
Dr. Ekaterine Chikoidze
Prof. Dr. Mike Jennings
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • wide-band-gap semiconductors
  • ultra wide-band-gap
  • energy
  • power electronics
  • optoelectronics
  • transparent electronics
  • deep UV
  • diodes
  • transistors
  • solar cells
  • photodetectors
  • LEDs
  • batteries
  • fuel cells

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 1688 KiB  
Article
Impact of Solid-State Charge Injection on Spectral Photoresponse of NiO/Ga2O3 p–n Heterojunction
by Alfons Schulte, Sushrut Modak, Yander Landa, Atman Atman, Jian-Sian Li, Chao-Ching Chiang, Fan Ren, Stephen J. Pearton and Leonid Chernyak
Condens. Matter 2023, 8(4), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat8040106 - 2 Dec 2023
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Abstract
Forward bias hole injection from 10-nm-thick p-type nickel oxide layers into 10-μm-thick n-type gallium oxide in a vertical NiO/Ga2O3 p–n heterojunction leads to enhancement of photoresponse of more than a factor of 2 when measured from this junction. While it [...] Read more.
Forward bias hole injection from 10-nm-thick p-type nickel oxide layers into 10-μm-thick n-type gallium oxide in a vertical NiO/Ga2O3 p–n heterojunction leads to enhancement of photoresponse of more than a factor of 2 when measured from this junction. While it takes only 600 s to obtain such a pronounced increase in photoresponse, it persists for hours, indicating the feasibility of photovoltaic device performance control. The effect is ascribed to a charge injection-induced increase in minority carrier (hole) diffusion length (resulting in improved collection of photogenerated non-equilibrium carriers) in n-type β-Ga2O3 epitaxial layers due to trapping of injected charge (holes) on deep meta-stable levels in the material and the subsequent blocking of non-equilibrium carrier recombination through these levels. Suppressed recombination leads to increased non-equilibrium carrier lifetime, in turn determining a longer diffusion length and being the root-cause of the effect of charge injection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wide-Band-Gap Semiconductors for Energy and Electronics)
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Review

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25 pages, 7992 KiB  
Review
Influence of Energetic Particles and Electron Injection on Minority Carrier Transport Properties in Gallium Oxide
by Sushrut Modak, Arie Ruzin, Alfons Schulte and Leonid Chernyak
Condens. Matter 2024, 9(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat9010002 - 6 Jan 2024
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Abstract
The influence of various energetic particles and electron injection on the transport of minority carriers and non-equilibrium carrier recombination in Ga2O3 is summarized in this review. In Ga2O3 semiconductors, if robust p-type material and bipolar structures become [...] Read more.
The influence of various energetic particles and electron injection on the transport of minority carriers and non-equilibrium carrier recombination in Ga2O3 is summarized in this review. In Ga2O3 semiconductors, if robust p-type material and bipolar structures become available, the diffusion lengths of minority carriers will be of critical significance. The diffusion length of minority carriers dictates the functionality of electronic devices such as diodes, transistors, and detectors. One of the problems in ultrawide-bandgap materials technology is the short carrier diffusion length caused by the scattering on extended defects. Electron injection in n- and p-type gallium oxide results in a significant increase in the diffusion length, even after its deterioration, due to exposure to alpha and proton irradiation. Furthermore, post electron injection, the diffusion length of an irradiated material exceeds that of Ga2O3 prior to irradiation and injection. The root cause of the electron injection-induced effect is attributed to the increase in the minority carrier lifetime in the material due to the trapping of non-equilibrium electrons on native point defects. It is therefore concluded that electron injection is capable of “healing” the adverse impact of radiation in Ga2O3 and can be used for the control of minority carrier transport and, therefore, device performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wide-Band-Gap Semiconductors for Energy and Electronics)
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