Ultrawide-band-gap (UWBG) semiconductors are promising for fast, compact, and energy-efficient power-electronics devices. Their wider band gaps result in higher breakdown electric fields that enable high-power switching with a lower energy loss. Yet, the leading UWBG semiconductors suffer from intrinsic materials’ limitations with regard to their doping asymmetry that impedes their adoption in CMOS technology. Improvements in the ambipolar doping of UWBG materials will enable a wider range of applications in power electronics as well as deep-UV optoelectronics. These advances can be accomplished through theoretical insights on the limitations of current UWBG materials coupled with the computational prediction and experimental demonstration of alternative UWBG semiconductor materials with improved doping and transport properties. As an example, we discuss the case of rutile GeO2 (r-GeO2), a water-insoluble GeO2 polytype, which is theoretically predicted to combine an ultra-wide gap with ambipolar dopability, high carrier mobilities, and a higher thermal conductivity than β-Ga2O3. The subsequent realization of single-crystalline r-GeO2 thin films by molecular beam epitaxy provides the opportunity to realize r-GeO2 for electronic applications. Future efforts toward the predictive discovery and design of new UWBG semiconductors include advances in first-principles theory and high-performance computing software, as well as the demonstration of controlled doping in high-quality thin films with lower dislocation densities and optimized film properties.
Full text available from Applied Physics Letters