Current status and scope of gallium nitride-based vertical transistors for high-power electronics application

Srabanti Chowdhury, Brian L. Swenson, Man Hoi Wong, Umesh K. Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

70 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number074014
JournalSemiconductor Science and Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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