GaN-based gunn diodes: Their frequency and power performance and experimental considerations

Egor Alekseev, Dimitris Pavlidis, William Earl Sutton, Edwin Piner, Joan Redwing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Theoretical and experimental aspects of GaN-based Gunn diodes are reviewed. Since the threshold field for Gunn effect in GaN (FTH > 150 kV/cm) is reported to be much higher than in GaAs (FTH = 3.5 kV/cm), the active layer of GaN-based devices can be made thinner (< 3μm) and doped higher (> 1017 cm-3) than in conventional Gunn diodes. Consequently, GaN-based devices are expected to offer increased frequency and power capabilities. The advantages of GaN are demonstrated with the help of large-signal simulations of GaN and GaAs Gunn diodes. The simulations revealed that GaN diodes can be operated at a higher frequency (up to 760 GHz vs. 100 GHz) and with larger output power density (105 W/cm2 vs. 103 W/cm2) than GaAs diodes. Epitaxial layers of n+/n-/n+ GaN (1019 cm-3/1017 cm-3/1019 cm-13) designed for millimeter-wave operation were grown using MOCVD on SiC substrates. GaN Gunn diodes with 4 μm-thick active layers were fabricated using specially developed dry etching techniques. The RIE was optimized to allow deep low-damage etching and allowed reduction of contact resistivity of etched layers (RC ≈ 10-6 Ω·cm2). GaN diodes fabricated on SiC substrates with high thermal conductivity were tested on-wafer and demonstrated high voltage and current capability (60 V and 2.5 A). High frequency testing of these devices requires proper dicing, mounting on efficient heatsinks, and connection to appropriate oscillator cavities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1462-1469
Number of pages8
JournalIEICE Transactions on Electronics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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