CORDIS - EU research results

Unveiling down to 0-dimensional confinements in GaN devices for RF power application

Project description

Imaging carriers, defects and potential landscape in III-Nitride semiconductors and devices

Gallium nitride (GaN) is a wide band gap material whose unique properties offer numerous advantages in the field of power and radio frequency electronics in comparison to traditional semiconductor materials. While it has been gaining increasing scientific and industrial attention, it requires immediate solutions to severe shortcomings (i.e. in epitaxial growth, device processing technology and reliability) to advance its development. These issues are simultaneously entangled with challenges in applying standard characterisation methods sensitive to chemical and electronic properties, thus inhibiting deeper insight and ultimate control in design. The EU-funded UNOGAN project will develop scanning probe microscopy techniques to enable spatially resolved local potential, charge and resistance profiles leading to better understanding of the physics, thereby improving high electron mobility transistors.


UNOGAN aims at developing a fundamental approach for quantitative assessment of polarization-induced 2D carriers (and their type) or junctions at the interface(s) and focuses on unraveling chemical and electronic properties of critical regions, for e.g. recessed surfaces of the gate, which is expected to shed a deeper insight into one of the severe challenges GaN industry is facing. Though successfully applied in narrow-bandgap semiconductors like Si, this SPM based approach currently face challenges of highly resistive wide band gap (Al,Ga)N. In the project, not only identification of the key issues but major improvements and even key instrumental development of E-SPM is proposed for such a rigid system, from which a correlated-analysis of spatially resolved local potential, charge and resistance in combination with computational methodology could be developed. This approach will lead to major advancements in the improvement of III-nitride based high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) program of IMEC. Over the years, the applicant has gained significant experience in the electrical study of III-nitride materials through scanning probe, defect sensitive spectroscopies and transmission electron microscopies. UNOGAN research will channel this knowledge towards new horizons at the forefront of materials science, building a strong collaboration network involving well-established European laboratories and companies which are leaders in the field. The new skills acquired during the two-year project will serve him to boost his research career, gain independence and place the host institution as an international reference in nanoscale device characterization.


Net EU contribution
€ 166 320,00
3001 Leuven

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Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Leuven
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 166 320,00