• Introduction

    GaN is a binary III-V direct bandgap semiconductor commonly used in LEDs. Its wide-band gap of 3.4 eV affords its special properties for applications in optoelectronic, high-power and high-frequency devices. Because GaN offers very high breakdown voltages, high electron mobility, and saturation velocity it is also an ideal candidate for high-power and high-temperature microwave applications like RF power amplifiers at microwave frequencies and high-voltage switching devices for power grids. Solutions that use GaN-based RF transistors are also replacing the magnetrons used in microwave ovens.

    Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistor models have evolved from GaAs (gallium arsenide) transistor models; however there are many advantages GaN offers:

    • Higher operating voltage (over 100-V breakdown)
    • Higher operating temperature (over 150°C channel temperature)
    • Higher power density (5 to 30 W/mm)
    • Durable and crack-resistant material

    GaN devices are often grown on SiC (silicon carbide) substrates, but to achieve lower-cost GaN devices, they can be grown on sapphire and silicon wafers. GaN’s wide bandgap allows for higher breakdown voltages and operation at high temperatures. The high thermal conductivity of SiC makes it a better substrate than silicon for power amplifier applications that require good heat sinking.

    It is very hard, mechanically stable wide bandgap semiconductor material with high heat capacity and thermal conductivity. In its pure form it resists cracking and can be deposited in thin film on sapphire or silicon carbide, despite the mismatch in their lattice constants. GaN can be doped with silicon (Si) or with oxygen to n-type and with magnesium (Mg) to p-type; however, the Si and Mg atoms change the way the GaN crystals grow, introducing tensile stresses and making them brittle. Gallium nitride compounds also tend to have a high spatial defect frequency, on the order of a hundred million to ten billion defects per square centimeter.

    Points covered:

    • Overview of top companies involved in applications of gallium nitride and their publication trend
    • Focus on crystal structures, applications and physical properties of gallium nitride
    • Trends for different applications of gallium nitride and their patent activity
    • Analyzing key companies within gallium nitride

    Technical Segmentation (Patent Categories)

    Crystal Structure
    • Rock Salt
    • Wurtzite
    • Zinc -Blende

    Applications

    • Amplifiers
    • Artificial Lighting
    • Automobile
    • Aviation
    • Biological Sensors
    • Blue Lighting
    • Blue Ray
    • Clean Energy
    • Defence
    • Detector
    • Displays
    • Flash Memory
    • Food
    • Fuel Cells
    • High Electron Mobility Transistor
    • High Resolution Printing
    • Hybrid Vehicle
    • Inverter
    • Laser Diodes
    • Laser Printer
    • LED
    • MMIC
    • Mobile Phone
    • Modulator
    • MOSFET
    • Nanotech for Medicines
    • Nanotubes
    • Optoelectronics
    • Photodiode
    • Radar
    • Satellite Communication
    • Solar Cells
    • Thin Film Batteries

    Physical Properties
    • Metalorganic CVD
    • N-Type
    • P-Type

    Publication Trend

    It can be seen that publications for GaN are constantly rising from 2009 with the real surge in the activity around this technology has happened since 2012.

    It’s clear the current activity around these technologies is likely to continue seeing more innovation in the near future.

    Publication Trend_GalliumNitride
    Publication Trend

    Top Companies

    1. SAMSUNG GROUP
    2. SUMITOMO ELECTRIC IND CO LTD
    3. TOSHIBA CORP
    4. TOYODA GOESI CO LTD
    5. PANASONIC CORP
    6. LG INNOTEK CO LTD
    7. CREE INC
    8. SHARP CORP
    9. UNIV CALIFORNIA
    10. OSRAM AG

    11. TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MFG LTD
    12. SOITEC
    13. SONY CORP
    14. EPISTAR CORP
    15. INTERNATIONAL RECTIFIER CORP
    16. FUJITSU LTD
    17. ROHM CO LTD
    18. MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORP
    19. INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES AG
    20. APPLIED MATERIALS INC

    Top Assignees_GalliumNitride
    Top Companies

    Research activity around world

    In terms of regional pockets where patent protection is being sought most frequently for these technologies, US leads the count, followed by the JP and KR.

    The table below ranks top priority countries and helps provide an indication of where innovation in this area is originating:

    Priority Map_GalliumNitride
    Priority Map

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  • Table of Contents
    Introduction…….. 3
    Technical Segmentation (Patent Categories)……. 5
    IP Analysis………. 6
    Publication Trend……… 6
    Top Companies……… 7
    Research activity around world………. 8
    Companies – Key Statistics………. 9
    Inventor – Key Statistics……. 13
    Company activity across crystal structures……… 19
    Company activity across physical properties….. 21
    Gallium Nitride – Application Areas vs. Crystal Structures……. 22
    Landscape for Gallium Nitride applications……. 23
    Analysis of significant companies within Gallium Nitride……… 24
    Assignee Landscape around application areas and crystal structure……. 25
    Universities: Focus across Crystal structure, applications and physical properties….. 34
    Appendix: Search Strings Used for Categorization……. 39
    Summary……. 44
    Sources & References………. 46

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