Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The culprit of some GaN defects could be nitrogen

02.07.2018

Using molecular dynamics, researchers demonstrate the possible role of nitrogen as a major contributor to dislocation-related effects in gallium nitride-based devices.

As silicon-based semiconductors reach their performance limits, gallium nitride (GaN) is becoming the next go-to material to advance light-emitting diode (LED) technologies, high-frequency transistors and photovoltaic devices. Holding GaN back, however, is its high numbers of defects.


As silicon-based semiconductors reach performance limits, gallium nitride is becoming the next go-to material for several technologies. Holding GaN back, however, is its high numbers of defects. Better understanding how GaN defects form at the atomic level could improve the performance of the devices made using this material. Researchers have taken a significant step by examining and determining six core configurations of the GaN lattice. They present their findings in the Journal of Applied Physics. This image shoes the distribution of stresses per atom (a) and (b) of a-edge dislocations along the <1-100> direction in wurtzite GaN.

Credit: Physics Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

This material degradation is due to dislocations -- when atoms become displaced in the crystal lattice structure. When multiple dislocations simultaneously move from shear force, bonds along the lattice planes stretch and eventually break. As the atoms rearrange themselves to reform their bonds, some planes stay intact while others become permanently deformed, with only half planes in place. If the shear force is great enough, the dislocation will end up along the edge of the material.

Layering GaN on substrates of different materials makes the problem that much worse because the lattice structures typically don't align. This is why expanding our understanding of how GaN defects form at the atomic level could improve the performance of the devices made using this material.

A team of researchers has taken a significant step toward this goal by examining and determining six core configurations of the GaN lattice. They presented their findings in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing.

"The goal is to identify, process and characterize these dislocations to fully understand the impact of defects in GaN so we can find specific ways to optimize this material," said Joseph Kioseoglou, a researcher at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and an author of the paper.

There are also problems that are intrinsic to the properties of GaN that result in unwanted effects like color shifts in the emission of GaN-based LEDs. According to Kioseoglou, this could potentially could be addressed by exploiting different growth orientations.

The researchers used computational analysis via molecular dynamics and density functional theory simulations to determine the structural and electronic properties of a-type basal edge dislocations along the <1-100> direction in GaN. Dislocations along this direction are common in semipolar growth orientations.

The study was based on three models with different core configurations. The first consisted of three nitrogen (N) atoms and one gallium (Ga) atom for the Ga polarity; the second had four N atoms and two Ga atoms; the third contained two N atoms and two Ga core-associated atoms. Molecular dynamic calculations were performed using approximately 15,000 atoms for each configuration.

The researchers found that the N polarity configurations exhibited significantly more states in the bandgap compared to the Ga polarity ones, with the N polar configurations presenting smaller bandgap values.

"There is a connection between the smaller bandgap values and the great number of states inside them," said Kioseoglou. "These findings potentially demonstrate the role of nitrogen as a major contributor to dislocation-related effects in GaN-based devices."

###

The article, "Structural and electronic properties of a-edge dislocations along <1-100> in GaN," is authored by Stefanos Giaremis, Philomela Komninou, Imad Belabbas, Jun Chen and Joseph Kioseoglou. The article appeared in Journal of Applied Physics June 26, 2018, (DOI: 10.1063/1.5034198) and can be accessed at http://aip.scitation.org/doi/full/10.1063/1.5034198.

ABOUT THE JOURNAL

The Journal of Applied Physics is an influential international journal publishing significant new experimental and theoretical results of applied physics research. See http://jap.aip.org.

Media Contact

Julia Majors
media@aip.org
301-209-3090

 @AIPPhysicsNews

http://www.aip.org 

Julia Majors | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.5034198

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Supporting structures of wind turbines contribute to wind farm blockage effect
13.12.2019 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Chinese team makes nanoscopy breakthrough
13.12.2019 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Virus multiplication in 3D

Vaccinia viruses serve as a vaccine against human smallpox and as the basis of new cancer therapies. Two studies now provide fascinating insights into their unusual propagation strategy at the atomic level.

For viruses to multiply, they usually need the support of the cells they infect. In many cases, only in their host’s nucleus can they find the machines,...

Im Focus: Cheers! Maxwell's electromagnetism extended to smaller scales

More than one hundred and fifty years have passed since the publication of James Clerk Maxwell's "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" (1865). What would our lives be without this publication?

It is difficult to imagine, as this treatise revolutionized our fundamental understanding of electric fields, magnetic fields, and light. The twenty original...

Im Focus: Highly charged ion paves the way towards new physics

In a joint experimental and theoretical work performed at the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, an international team of physicists detected for the first time an orbital crossing in the highly charged ion Pr⁹⁺. Optical spectra were recorded employing an electron beam ion trap and analysed with the aid of atomic structure calculations. A proposed nHz-wide transition has been identified and its energy was determined with high precision. Theory predicts a very high sensitivity to new physics and extremely low susceptibility to external perturbations for this “clock line” making it a unique candidate for proposed precision studies.

Laser spectroscopy of neutral atoms and singly charged ions has reached astonishing precision by merit of a chain of technological advances during the past...

Im Focus: Ultrafast stimulated emission microscopy of single nanocrystals in Science

The ability to investigate the dynamics of single particle at the nano-scale and femtosecond level remained an unfathomed dream for years. It was not until the dawn of the 21st century that nanotechnology and femtoscience gradually merged together and the first ultrafast microscopy of individual quantum dots (QDs) and molecules was accomplished.

Ultrafast microscopy studies entirely rely on detecting nanoparticles or single molecules with luminescence techniques, which require efficient emitters to...

Im Focus: How to induce magnetism in graphene

Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechanical, electronic and optical properties. However, it did not seem suitable for magnetic applications. Together with international partners, Empa researchers have now succeeded in synthesizing a unique nanographene predicted in the 1970s, which conclusively demonstrates that carbon in very specific forms has magnetic properties that could permit future spintronic applications. The results have just been published in the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Depending on the shape and orientation of their edges, graphene nanostructures (also known as nanographenes) can have very different properties – for example,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supporting structures of wind turbines contribute to wind farm blockage effect

13.12.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Chinese team makes nanoscopy breakthrough

13.12.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Tiny quantum sensors watch materials transform under pressure

13.12.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>