3rd Generation Semiconductor
GaN, also called gallium nitride, is the chemical compound made by nitrogen and gallium that is stable in the hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure. GaN is not found naturally and is produced by synthetic crystal growth techniques. When used a semiconductor, it is deposited in a single crystal form. Since GaN does not melt at normal atmospheric pressure, it must be formed from vapor phase or solution deposition methods.
GaN is representative of the 3rd generation of semiconductors, which was proceeded by Si as the 1st generation and GaAs as the 2nd generation. As compared to previous semiconductors, the 3rd generation is defined by its wide bandgap; GaN has a bandgap of 3.4 eV. The 3rd generation semiconductors also boast high breakdown voltage, high thermal conductivity, and radiation resistance ability.
The importance of GaN is derived from its ability to be used in multiple energy conversion devices. In today’s world, energy technology is a defining issue that influences the lives of everyone. The efficient use of energy will lead to improvement in life and reduce harmful effects on the environment. GaN materials and devices play an important role in the efficient use of electrical energy in conventional and new ways. Compared with previous technologies, GaN has achieved significant improvement in power conversion efficiency and power density.