Conference paper

Reliable GaN-based resonant tunneling diodes with reproducible room-temperature negative differential resistance

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Resonant tunneling diode (RTD) is an electronic device embodying a unique quantum-interference phenomenon: negative differential resistance (NDR). Compared to other negative resistance devices such as (Esaki) tunnel and transferred-electron devices, RTDs operate much faster and at higher temperatures. III-nitride materials, composed of AlGaInN alloys, have wide bandgap, high carrier mobility and thermal stability; making them ideal for high power high frequency RTDs. Moreover, larger conduction band discontinuity promise higher NDR than other materials (such as GaAs) and room-temperature operation. However, earlier efforts on GaN-based RTD structures have failed to achieve a reliable and reproducible NDR. Recently, we have demonstrated for the first time that minimizing dislocation density and eliminating the piezoelectric fields enable reliable and reproducible NDR in GaN-based RTDs even at room temperature. Observation of NDR under both forward and reverse bias as well as at room and low temperatures attribute the NDR behaviour to quantum tunneling. This demonstration marks an important milestone in exploring III-nitride quantum devices, and will pave the way towards fundamental quantum transport studies as well as for high frequency optoelectronic devices such as terahertz emitters based on oscillators and cascading structures. © 2011 Copyright Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).