P-Type Gallium Nitride Doping by Controlled Magnesium Diffusion

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OPEN 2018
Santa Clara, California
Project Term:
05/01/2019 - 04/30/2020

Critical Need:

Gallium nitride (GaN) is a wide bandgap semiconductor material that has superior electrical material properties compared to conventional silicon for power electronics. GaN properties enable faster, more efficient, and more robust electronic devices with lower losses and higher operational frequency for use in electrical energy conversion circuits, such as those that connect roof-top solar panels to the grid or charge electric vehicles (EVs). Most power semiconductor architectures require the addition of specific impurities in defined areas to produce negative (n-type) and positive (p-type) electrical conduction. This process, called selective area doping, has proven to be difficult in GaN. To further enhance the capability and improve the performance and reliability of GaN device technology, fabrication methods for selective area p-type doping processes need to be developed.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Qromis Inc. will develop an improved selective area doping fabrication method for GaN, ultimately enabling a broader range of higher-performing, manufacturable, and scalable GaN power devices. The team seeks to improve the process using magnesium (Mg) diffusion, in which atoms move from an area of high concentration to a lower one at high temperatures. In particular, Qromis seeks to understand what controls the Mg diffusion rate in GaN to better leverage the phenomenon for the production of high-performance devices. If successful, the Qromis team hopes to accelerate the adoption of GaN power devices in power conversion circuits.

Potential Impact:

This project aims to significantly improve performance of GaN power devices, which will accelerate their adoption in power conversion circuits. Faster adoption of GaN power devices in new products will positively impact a large number of industries where energy efficiency is paramount.


More energy efficient power electronics will increase U.S. energy security and help maintain its technological edge.


Improved GaN devices will enable revolutionary circuits and systems for efficient energy generation and conversion, reducing power-related emissions and encouraging increased EV adoption and renewable power integration.


These technologically advanced power devices will enable energy savings.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Isik Kizilyalli
Project Contact:
Dr. Vladimir Odnoblyudov
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