Agnitron Partners with UCSB to Lead Gallium Oxide Material Growth Study

Navy sbirAgnitron and the University of California, Santa Barbara are partnering to study fundamentals of the β-Ga2O3 MOCVD growth process in an upcoming Navy Funded research program. The effort combines world renowned crystal growth and material science expertise from UCSB with Agnitron’s strong track record of MOCVD equipment innovation and custom MOCVD equipment solution development; UCSB is led by Professors James Speck and Steven Denbaars. During the course of the year long program the team will focus on studying fundamental aspects of the MOCVD growth process. The objective of the program is to improve doping control for MOCVD growth of β-Ga2O3 as well as to enhance growth rates, both motivated by interest to understand the feasibility of producing β-Ga2O3 based devices.

In recent years oxide semiconductors have attracted much attention for high voltage power electronics applications. Specifically, much attention has been focused on monoclinic β-Ga2O3, an ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor. Its large bangap (4.8 eV) and high breakdown field (8MV/cm), provide for a Baliga’s Figure of Merit (BFOM) value of 3400; at least four times higher than those of current generation wide bandgap semiconductors, such as SiC and GaN (BFOM of 340 and 870, respectively). These physical properties indicate a theoretical on-resistance vs. electric field limit that also exceeds those of GaN and SiC. Furthermore, due to the large indirect energy gap of β-Ga2O3 the critical breakdown field is expected to approach the value of diamond. These exceptional fundamental material properties motivate strong interest in β-Ga2Ofor fabricating power electronic devices as it could enable high voltage devices to satisfy a gap currently unsatisfied by GaN and SiC but in demand for a variety of power systems.

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