The physical properties of the third-generation semiconductors have significant advantages, and the downstream application scenarios are extremely broad.
The excellent performance of the third-generation semiconductor makes it have broad application prospects in the fields of semiconductor lighting, new generation mobile communication, new energy grid connection, smart grid, high-speed rail transit, new energy vehicles, and consumer electronics. The third-generation semiconductors include silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN), zinc oxide (ZnO), gallium oxide (GaO), aluminum nitride (AlN), and wide bandgap semiconductor materials such as diamond, among which silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) are the most representative. The third-generation semiconductor materials have excellent properties such as high breakdown electric field, high thermal conductivity, high electron saturation rate, and strong radiation resistance. strategic heights. The third-generation semiconductors mainly discussed in this paper are silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN).
In terms of classification, SiC is suitable for medium and high voltage devices, and GaN is suitable for medium and low voltage devices. The overlapping parts of the two are automotive electronics and photovoltaics.
SiC material has significant advantages over Si material. At present, silicon-based materials are mainly used in automotive-grade semiconductors. However, due to the limitation of their own performance, it is difficult to further increase the power density of silicon-based devices, and the loss of silicon-based materials is greatly increased under high switching frequency and high voltage. Compared with silicon-based semiconductor materials, the third-generation semiconductor materials represented by silicon carbide have the characteristics of high breakdown electric field, high saturation electron drift velocity, high thermal conductivity, and high radiation resistance. SiC materials have incomparable advantages over Si materials: low energy loss, small package size, high-frequency switching, high temperature resistance, and strong heat dissipation capabilities.
As a third-generation semiconductor, GaN has the advantages of a wide bandgap (3.4 eV), a strong breakdown field (3.3 MW/cm), and a high electron saturation drift velocity (2.7 * 107 cm/s). Among the previous semiconductor materials, Si is currently the main material of integrated circuits and semiconductor devices, but its narrow band gap and low breakdown voltage make it ineffective in the application of high-frequency and high-power devices. The second-generation semiconductor materials represented by GaAs have important application value in the field of microwave communication due to their high electron mobility and radiation resistance, and are the basis of current semiconductor materials for communication. However, the bandgap and breakdown voltage of GaAs are still difficult to meet the requirements of high frequency and high power devices. Compared with the previous two generations of semiconductor materials, GaN has a larger band gap and breakdown voltage, and has high chemical stability, high temperature resistance, and corrosion resistance, so it has broad applications in optoelectronic devices and high-frequency and high-power electronic devices. prospect.
The third generation of semiconductors will greatly reduce energy consumption, and the future will definitely show great promise.