This report takes a look into the patenting activity around gallium Nitride uncovering the companies, inventors, and key applications.
GaN is a binary III-V direct bandgap semiconductor commonly used in LEDs. Its wide-band gap of 3.4 eV affords its special properties for applications in optoelectronic, high-power and high-frequency devices. Because GaN offers very high breakdown voltages, high electron mobility, and saturation velocity it is also an ideal candidate for high-power and high-temperature microwave applications like RF power amplifiers at microwave frequencies and high-voltage switching devices for power grids. Solutions that use GaN-based RF transistors are also replacing the magnetrons used in microwave ovens.
Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistor models have evolved from GaAs (gallium arsenide) transistor models; however there are many advantages GaN offers:
• Higher operating voltage (over 100-V breakdown)
• Higher operating temperature (over 150°C channel temperature)
• Higher power density (5 to 30 W/mm)
• Durable and crack-resistant material
GaN devices are often grown on SiC (silicon carbide) substrates, but to achieve lower-cost GaN devices, they can be grown on sapphire and silicon wafers. GaN’s wide bandgap allows for higher breakdown voltages and operation at high temperatures. The high thermal conductivity of SiC makes it a better substrate than silicon for power amplifier applications that require good heat sinking.