Magnesium Diffusion Doping of GaN

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Livermore, California
Project Term:
09/01/2019 - 08/31/2021

Technology Description:

Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will advance GaN device processing knowledge to enable production of GaN devices with higher speed and power at a lower cost. Using a selective area p-type doping process to move the device architecture from a lateral to a vertical configuration makes the lower cost possible. LLNL has previously demonstrated solid-state diffusion of magnesium (Mg) into GaN at temperatures under 1000ºC through a Gallidation Assisted Impurity Diffusion (GAID) process. In the GAID process, an Mg source layer is deposited in contact with the GaN followed by a capping layer of a metal that reacts with GaN at moderate temperatures to form gallides. The closeness of this capping layer with the GaN allows reaction with the underlying GaN, removing gallium from the lattice where it is replaced with Mg. This results in Mg incorporation within the GaN lattice and p-type doping. LLNL will evaluate various Mg sources, capping layers, and diffusion conditions for the GAID process and determine the relationship among source type, thickness, and capping layer on the resulting p-type doping concentration.

Potential Impact:

If successful, PNDIODES projects will enable further development of a new class of power converters suitable in a broad range of application areas including automotive, industrial, residential, transportation (rail & ship), aerospace, and utilities.


More energy efficient power electronics could improve the efficiency of the U.S. power sector. They could also significantly improve the reliability and security of the electrical grid.


More efficient power use may help reduce power-related emissions. Low-cost and highly efficient power electronics could also lead to increased adoption of electric vehicles and greater integration of renewable power sources.


Improved power electronics could yield a significant reduction in U.S. electricity consumption, saving American families and businesses money on their power bills.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Isik Kizilyalli
Project Contact:
Voss Lars
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Yale University

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