III-N Based Material Structures and Circuit Modules Based on Strain Management

Tech ID: 28861 / UC Case 2017-99F-0

Brief Description

A method and composition to apply uniaxial strain on gallium nitrides to increase mobility and electron velocity.


P-type channel devices are limited due to the natural characteristics, including the effective mass of holes, associated with the p channel. The lower the effective mass, the higher the hole mobility in these p-type channel devices. An improvement in the hole conductivity could be obtained with uniaxial strain either due to higher hole mobility or higher hole concentration. Current complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) architectures are the most commonly used architectures in silicon. However, they have not been attractive in GaN because of the limitations of the p-MOSFET that are present. It would be beneficial to find a way to enable a high-performance GaN p-MOSFET which would allow CMOS architectures where both the n-type and p-type devices can be oriented in the same direction.


Researchers from UC Santa Barbara, have created a method and composition to apply uniaxial strain on gallium nitrides to increase mobility and electron velocity. This composition involves modifying the hole or the electron by using a uniaxial strain to alter electronic and photonic device performance and as a result enable a brand new class of circuit embodiments. By using uniaxially strained GaN, the hole effective mass in GaN is reduced to values below the effective mass of electrons resulting in a significant increase in the hole mobility. Conversely, using relaxed InGaN as the channel material, the electron velocity is significantly increased. This provides a reduced electron effective mass, which is critical in reducing electron scattering and enhancing electron velocity. Through their experiment in demonstrating the improvement in hole conductivity under the application of uniaxial compressive strain in c-plane III-N materials, it is also found that the improvement in the hole conductivity at room temperature in the uniaxially strained fin is due to the presence of light holes in the bulk of the Mg doped InGaN layer, which enhanced hole conductivity to the splitting of valence hand, and leads to higher activation and/or higher mobility arising. This new way of using strain to engineer group-III nitride properties shows us an exciting pathway of developing complementary GaN technology.


  • Mobility is increased by 4x
  • Higher activation and mobility arising
  • Improved hole transport properties and hole conductivity
  • Ability to hold substantial voltage (>2V)
  • High frequency, high voltage, and high current


  • III-N materials
  • Materials in all polarities and crystal planes
  • Push-pull amplifiers
  • Wideband amplifiers
  • Mixed signal architectures

Patent Status

Patent Pending


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Other Information


III-N, wideband amplifiers, amplifiers, indfeat, indbulk, gallium

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