Comparative analysis of zinc-blende and wurtzite GaN for full-band polar optical phonon scattering and negative differential conductivity

Bulutay, C.; Ridley, B. K.; Ridley, B.K.; Zakhleniuk, N. A.; Zakhleniuk, N.A.
October 2000
Applied Physics Letters;10/23/2000, Vol. 77 Issue 17
Academic Journal
For high-power electronics applications, GaN is a promising semiconductor. Under high electric fields, electrons can reach very high energies where polar optical phonon (POP) emission is the dominant scattering mechanism. So, we undertake a full-band analysis of POP scattering of conduction-band electrons based on an empirical pseudopotential band structure. To uncover the directional variations, we compute POP emission rates along high-symmetry directions for the zinc-blende (ZB) crystal phase of GaN. We also compare the results with those of the wurtzite phase. In general, the POP scattering rates in the zinc-blende phase are lower than the wurtzite phase. Our analysis also reveals appreciable directional dependence, with the Γ-L direction of ZB GaN being least vulnerable to POP scattering, characterized by a scattering time of 11 fs. For both crystal phases, we consider the negative differential conductivity possibilities driven by the negative effective mass part of the band structure. According to our estimation, for the ZB phase the onset of this effect requires fields above ∼1 MV/cm. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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