Centre for GaN Materials and Devices

The centre’s research on III-nitride semiconductor devices includes nanophotonics, electronics, hybrid III-nitride/polymer optoelectronics, on-chip integration of photonics and electronics and micro-LEDs.

Green Electroluminescence in the Centre for GaN Materials and Devices

The Centre, led by Professor Tao Wang, has established internationally recognised expertise in the field of III-nitride semiconductor materials and devices, demonstrated by a strong publication record, frequent citations, and highlights in major semiconductor magazines. The team’s research covers many III-nitrides topics, resulting in a number of leading achievements in areas ranging from novel epitaxial growth to device fabrication. Their research on III-nitride semiconductor devices includes nanophotonics, electronics, hybrid III-nitride/polymer optoelectronics, integration of photonics and electronics, flexible devices, micro-LEDs and solar energy devices.

With world-class facilities for the advanced research of III-nitrides – from epitaxy to extensive material characterisation and device testing – and a large, dedicated team
of research staff, PhD students and technical staff the Centre is one of the largest Gallium Nitride (GaN) research groups in the UK. The Centre is also part of the 7-year EPSRC Future Compound Semiconductor (CS) Manufacturing Hub, and the recently funded EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing.

The last two decades have seen major advances in developing III-nitride materials and devices which play a critical role in fields such as high definition display, smart phones, the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, satellite communications, GPS, energy efficient lighting, solar power generation, visible light communication, advanced healthcare and ground-breaking biotechnology. With a focus on the next generation of non-polar or semi-polar GaN the group’s research is paving the way for devices with the high response time needed for emerging technologies such as UV LEDs, Li-Fi and other telecommunication applications. Other exciting areas of research include on-chip
integration of electronics and photonics and developing III-nitride micro-LEDs for next generation displays.

III-nitride semiconductors also have huge potential in addressing major global challenges – UV-LEDs can be used to sanitise drinking water and remove dangerous particulates from vehicle exhausts and GaN based devices are ideal for solar cell applications and energy efficient, sustainable lighting technologies.

Working with industry

Key challenges for bridging the gap between fundamental research and manufacturing in this field are achieving the crystal quality, scalability and cost effectiveness of GaN
grown on substrates such as sapphire and silicon. Over the last 10 years the centre has developed a number of advanced MOVPE overgrowth techniques and novel nanofabrication techniques which are suitable for the manufacturing industries. The Centre can offer the full project life cycle for industry collaboration – from future trends analysis, design, advanced epitaxy growth, device fabrication and devices characterisation to testing.

For more information visit https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/gancentre and @GaNCentre.

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