We live in extremely exciting times, often identified as the age of the fourth industrial revolution. With electrification at every level, we are witnessing the most significant transformation of transportation since the internal combustion engine. Renewable energy is now a reality. IoT with the ever-expanding need for sensors and low power electronics is changing our lives dramatically. Robotics and autonomous vehicles are upon us. This new world needs new physical electronics solutions with new materials, devices, and heterogeneous integration to drive these innovations to their full potential. Wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductors present a pathway to enable much of these electronics with higher efficiency and newer functionalities. Semiconductor devices with higher power density have unprecedented value in both power and high-frequency electronics. The success of GaN lighting is being recreated in RF and power electronics, triggering innovations at the circuit and system level. High electron mobility transistors made of GaN have transformed RF electronics by providing more power added efficiency and power at the device level, resulting in its ever-increasing use in applications. In the broad market of power conversion, GaN’s potential is yet to be fully unleashed. Reducing conversion losses is not only critical for minimizing consumption of limited resources, it simultaneously enables new compact and reduced weight solutions, the basis for a new industry offering increased power conversion performance at reduced system cost. Equally importantly, GaN has opened the door to other ultra-wide bandgap materials such as Diamond, Aluminum Nitride and Gallium Oxide. These material systems promise device and system performances that could not be conceived before with Si other III-Vs. For example, Diamond, with a bandgap of 5.47 eV presents unique material properties, which enable a wide spectrum of devices from power devices to single-photon emitters. Moreover, diamond if successfully integrated with GaN will create one of the best thermally managed solutions for high speed, highly dense electronics.
It is always rewarding to be at the beginning of a new technological revolution, which has a tremendous economic and environmental impact. WBG electronics offer just this opportunity both with its promise of superior solutions to pressing problems while simultaneously opening the possibilities of providing functionality that we have not even thought of.