Within its broader gamut of work on III-V semiconductors, the Institute has epitaxial growth capability for materials from the gallium nitride (GaN) family. This is based around a commercial metal organic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD) reactor from Aixtron, originally commissioned in mid-2000 .
The MOCVD reactor is installed at the off-campus Photonix facility, where it is co-located with much of the Institute?s other semiconductor microfabrication and test equipment. GaN and related alloy materials are best known for their application in short-wavelength visible light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which already forms the basis of a multi-billion dollar business.
However, applications for these materials are also maturing very fast in edge-emitting laser diodes, high-power transistors, and phosphor-converted ?white? LEDs. The efficiency of these latter devices will reduce energy requirements for general lighting over the next decade, which typically comprises over 20% of total energy consumption in developed countries.
Some distinctive research topics pursued in the Institute?s MOCVD work are summarised below. This summary is necessarily incomplete, and, for an up-to-date overview please consult Dr Watson?s publications list. Further background on nitride MOCVD is also available from a tutorial presentation which Dr Watson prepared for a Summer School in Nanophysics of Semiconductors in September 2005.