Gallium nitride (GaN) is becoming the material of choice for power electronics to enable the roadmap of increasing power density by simultaneously enabling high-power conversion efficiency and reduced form factor. This is because the low switching losses of GaN enable high-frequency operation which reduces bulky passive components with negligible change in efficiency. Commercialization of GaN-on-Si materials for power electronics has led to the entry of GaN devices into the medium-power market since the performance-over- cost of even first-generation products looks very attractive compared to today's mature Si-based solutions. On the other hand, the high-power market still remains unaddressed by lateral GaN devices. The current and voltage demand for high-power conversion application makes the chip area in a lateral topology so large that it becomes difficult to manufacture. Vertical GaN devices would play a big role alongside silicon carbide (SiC) to address the high-power conversion needs. In this paper vertical GaN devices are discussed with emphasis on current aperture vertical electron transistors (CAVETs) which have shown promising performance. The fabrication-related challenges and the future possibilities enabled by the availability of good-quality, cost-competitive bulk GaN material are also evaluated for CAVETs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Materials Chemistry