From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2016
Gallium Nitride (GaN) is a wide-bandgap semiconductor having excellent radiation properties. GaN crystal is ionic-covalent with significant iconicity resulting in stronger molecular bond strength, which in in turn leads to excellent radiation hardness. Further, GaN has ultrafast carrier relaxation time. GaN transistors are promising for high-frequency applications due to their large bandgap (3.9eV) and higher breakdown field (<5MV/cm). These exceptional characteristics make GaN suitable to operate in high radiation flux environment such as fusion plasma facilities, for ultrafast detection. The expected detector temporal response is faster than 0.01-1 ns.
We have been systematically testing neutron radiation effects in GaN devices and materials at Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) with ever increased neutron fluence levels, and at National Ignition Facility (NIF) high foot, high yield shots. In 2013 LANSCE run cycle, we tested GaN UV LED devices at 3.1E11 neutrons/cm^2. In 2015-2016 LANSCE run cycles, we have been operating three neutron beam lines with fluence level 1.2E11, 1.5E13, and 1E15 neutrons/cm^2. The irradiated samples include GaN UV LEDs, GaN HEMTs, and GaN substrates. In the experiments up to 2015 run cycle, we have characterized electrical and optical performances of GaN device before and after neutron irradiation, including the device IV curve measurements monitored at over the three months neutron irradiation time, and device IV curve measurements before and after NIF high yield shot irradiation. We observed no substantial degradation. These experiments firmly established GaN devices as the radiation hard platform of the next generation fusion plasma diagnostic instruments.
Ke-Xun Sun, Ron Nelson, and Charles Yeamans, "Radiation effects in GaN devices and materials
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9969, Radiation Detectors: Systems and Applications XVII, 996905 (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 31, 2016; Published: 2 November 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238483.5178382311001.
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