Gallium Indium Arsenide (GaInAs) Semiconductors

Topics Covered

Chemical Properties
Electrical Properties
Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties
Recent Developments


Indium gallium arsenide or gallium indium arsenide is composed of three chemical elements, arsenic, gallium and indium. It is a semiconductor widely used in optoelectronics technology. As indium and gallium belong to same group, they play similar roles in chemical bonding, and are often called as an alloy of indium arsenide and gallium arsenide. The properties of the alloy are intermediate between the two and are determined based on the proportion of gallium to indium.


Gallium indium arsenide finds applications in the following:

  • Infrared detectors
  • As intermediate band-gap junction in multi-junction photovoltaic cells and thermophotovoltaic power generation
  • High electron mobility devices.

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties of gallium indium arsenide are provided in the table below:

Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula GaInAs
CAS No. 106097-59-0
Group Gallium – 13
Indium – 13
Arsenic - 15
Lattice Constant 5.869 Å

Electrical Properties

The electrical properties of gallium indium arsenide are provided in the table below:

Electrical Properties
Electron Effective Mass 0.041
Light-hole Effective Mass 0.051
Dielectric Constant 13.9
Band Gap 0.75 eV
Electron Mobility 10,000 cm2/Vs
Hole Mobility 250 cm2/Vs

Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties

The thermal, mechanical and optical properties of gallium indium arsenide are provided in the tables below:

Thermal Properties
Thermal Expansion Coefficient 5.66x10-6 °C-1
Specific Heat Capacity 0.3 J g-1°C-1
Thermal Conductivity 0.05 W cm-1°C-1
Mechanical Properties
Density 5.50 g/cm3
Bulk Modulus 6.62x1011 dyn/cm2
Debye Temperature 56.85°C
Optical Properties
Infrared Refractive Index 3.43 cm2/Vs
Radiative Recombination Coefficient 0.96 x 10-10 cm2/s

Recent Developments

Indium gallium arsenide­-based optoelectronic devices have been widely analyzed in the wavelength range of 800nm for gallium-rich material to 3µm for indium-rich material. Fu, JX (2005) demonstrated a compact standing-wave Fourier-transform interferometer system that has the potential to perform coherent detection in the near-infrared region.

He also developed Fourier spectra analysis for the system that has a PZT-controlled gold-coated scan mirror with close-loop scan range of 32µm. The resolution of the system at the harmonic 5th order spectrum components with such mirror scan length was found to be 37.5cm-1. The resolution can also be increased to 1 cm-1 with improved elements selection and system design.

Indium gallium arsenide was widely used in fiber-optic communication and radar technologies owing to its extremely good electrical properties. However, despite recent advancements in using this material for building transistors, nobody has yet been able to produce devices small enough to be packed in microchips.

In 2012, researchers at MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratories developed a nanometer-sized metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) using this material. The transistor was found to have excellent logic characteristics. The MIT researchers have proven that indium arsenide channels outperform silicon at small-device dimensions.


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