Gallium nitride (GaN) is a semiconductor material used in optoelectronics, highly integrated optical storage media, microwave technology, switches, power electronics and semiconductor light sources. Gallium nitride has various advantages over gallium arsenide( GaAs) and silicon( Si).
It features good high- frequency characteristics, switching speeds, high current-carrying capacity, and low power consumption. It also has high efficiency in terms of the area required, low production costs, and it can operate at much higher voltages. Gallium nitride can improve the rise times of step signals compared to silicon, increase switching frequencies and minimize power losses.
Gallium nitride is a III-V compound semiconductor with a wide bandgap(WBG) of 3.4 electron volts( eV), a much higher breakdown voltage and lower on-resistance compared to silicon. It is therefore ideal for power electronics and edge-emitting laser( EEL) light generation devices. In addition, gallium nitride can be used at frequencies of several hundred gigahertz( GHz).
As a III-V compound semiconductor, gallium nitride is used in blue, green, and white light-emitting diodes, as well as in High Electron Mobility Transistors( HEMT), the high-power components of high-frequency technology. Corresponding GaN HEMTs are characterized by high efficiency of up to 70 % and high power density. They can be used in high-frequency broadband technology and microwave technology such as in WiMAX or Long Term Evolution( LTE).