Ultra-WBG Semiconductors III-Nitrides and Diamond – Integration technologies for harsh environmental applications

Diamond and the III-nitride materials system are part of a class of semiconductor materials with extreme properties in many aspects. While the III-Nitride heterostructure system is the basis for GaN based HEMTs, diamond lacks heterostrutures and even shallow doping, but possesses many exceptional properties as actuator and sensor element. For example, it is the only semiconductor with an inert surface in the liquid and therefore attractive for harsh environmental electro and biochemistry. 

The talk will concentrate on an electrochemical sensor application and discusses the technological requirements and difficulties of the integration process of both, materials and devices, on a common substrate in this case sapphire. This had been indeed an exceptional challenge, since both materials growth as well as device processing technologies had come from rather angles.

The realization of a 3 x 3 diamond electrode array integrated with a GaN HEMT amperometric and potentiometric readout circuit for biochemical applications will be discussed. It is meant to serve as an example only for the much wider field of harsh environmental systems integration, where much is still left to the future.

Erhard Kohn

Professor (ret), Ulm University on April 8, 2022 at 10:15 AM in EB2 1229
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Erhard Kohn is a professor at Ulm University, heading the Institute of Electron Devices and Circuits until to his retirement in 2009. Since then, he has been visiting professor to the Technical University of Vienna, NCKU in Taiwan, Notre Dame and presently NC State. He received his Dr. Ing. degree from the Technical Univ. of Aachen (Germany) in 1975 with work on GaAs based field effect transistors.
After 2 years at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) this was followed by an approx. 15 year period going through industrial research and development at AEG Telefunken in Germany, Thomson CSF in France and Siemens Corp. Research in Princeton in NJ, before returning to academia.
In 1989 the Inst. of Electron Devices and Circuits was established at Ulm University. Here, work moved to III-nitrides and diamond, two wide bandgap materials with ceramic-like properties. Investigating both materials side by side enabled many new device structures, covering the field of electronics, biochemistry, electrochemistry, thermal management as well as MEMS sensors and actuators.
For many years he had been the European Chair and a Trustee of the DRC as well as an executive board member of the Elsevier “Diamond” conference. Recently, in Dec. 2021, he had received the IEEE EDS Lester Eastman reward.

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