Gallium arsenide is a type III/V semiconductor, with high electron mobility and a high saturated electron velocity compared to silicon, enabling transistors made of gallium arsenide to function at frequencies over 250 GHz.
Gallium arsenide devices are not sensitive to heat because of their wide-bandgap. Also, these devices typically have less noise than silicon devices, especially at high operating frequencies.
The applications of gallium arsenide are listed below:
- Gallium arsenide can be used to manufacture devices such as monolithic microwave integrated circuits, microwave frequency integrated circuits, infrared light-emitting diodes, solar cells, laser diodes and optical windows.
- GaAs have a direct bandgap unlike many other semiconductors implying it can emit light with high efficiency. Being a direct bandgap material, it is resistant to radiation damage enabling its use in optical windows and space electronics in high power applications.
- It is also used as an electrical substrate and offers natural isolation between circuits and devices. This makes it suitable for millimeter-wave and microwave ICs.
- Solar cells based on GaAs power the Opportunity and Spirit rovers that are exploring the surface of Mars. A number of solar cars make use of GaAs in solar arrays.
- GaAs diodes are used to detect X-rays.
The chemical properties of gallium arsenide are provided in the table below:
|Band Gap Type
The electrical properties of gallium arsenide are provided in the table below:
|Intrinsic Carrier Concentration
|1.79 x 106 cm-3
|≤ 8500 cm2 V-1 s-1
|≤ 400 cm2 V-1 s-1
|Electron Diffusion Coefficient
|≤ 200 cm2 s-1
|Hole Diffusion Coefficient
|≤ 10 cm2 s-1
Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties
The thermal, mechanical, and optical properties of Gallium Arsenide are provided in the tables below:
|5.3176 g cm-3
|0.55 W cm-1 °C-1
|0.31 cm2 s-1
|Thermal Expansion Coefficient
|Refractive Index (589 nm @ 293 K)
|Radiative Recombination Coefficient (@ 300 K)
|7x10-10 cm3 s-1
|GHS Hazard Statements
N - Dangerous for the environment
|R23 - Toxic by inhalation
R25: Toxic if swallowed
R50: Very toxic to aquatic organisms
R53: May cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment