Ultrawide bandgap gives material high-power potential

depiction of energy band gap
By: David Nutt

The path that leads to the next generation of high-power electronics is not long. But it needs to be wide. Very wide.

A Cornell collaboration has found a way to grow a single crystalline layer of alpha-aluminum gallium oxide that has the widest energy bandgap to date – a discovery that clears the way for new semiconductors that will handle higher voltages, higher power densities and higher frequencies than previously seen.

The collaboration was led by co-senior authors Debdeep Jena and Huili Grace Xing, both professors in electrical and computer engineering and in materials science and engineering. The team also included David Muller, the Samuel B. Eckert Professor in Applied and Engineering Physics, who specializes in electron microscopy, and Darrell Schlom, the Herbert Fisk Johnson Professor of Industrial Chemistry, who grows oxide materials for electronic uses.

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