Wide Band-gap Compound Semiconductors

Penn State researching ways to improve computer speed, efficiency

Semiconductors with band-gaps larger than 2eV are said to be wide band-gap. They are used to fabricate optical devices that emit visible green and blue, and ultraviolet/deep ultraviolet light. Wide band-gap semiconductors such as gallium nitride and silicon carbide are being studied for electronic components, especially in high power high temperature applications. Wide band-gap semiconductors are used to make LEDs and lasers such as those used in DVD and Blue Ray disk players.

The study of wide band-gap compound semiconductors is an active research area at Penn State, with at least six faculty groups currently engaged in interdisciplinary research in this area. Here, too, the synthesis of defect-free materials requires special methods for monitoring the growth process in-situ and for characterizing the material in a device.