Advanced and wide bandgap semiconductor materials: from atomic structure to semiconductor device simulation

As a natural evolution of its activity on the physics-based simulation of compound semiconductor devices, dating back to 1985, the group has been engaged since 1995 in the development of more fundamental simulation tools, mainly in cooperation with computational electronic groups at Georgia Institute of Technology and Boston University. The group has developed analytic- and full-band Monte Carlo transport simulation codes, with the aim to investigate innovative wide gap semiconductors and to simulate and optimize nanoscale devices made with advanced semiconductors. The development of the full-band codes has been conducted together with the evaluation of electronic structure, phonon dispersion and deformation potentials of semiconductors, both with ab initio techniques and with accurate and efficient semiempirical methods. The ultimate goal of this research would be to achieve a hierarchy of fitting-parameters-free models, seamlessy leading from the semiconductor (or semiconductor alloy) structural properties to the evaluation/optimization of the device performance.

The main applicative interest has been devoted to wide gap III-N semiconductors (GaN and its alloys), then extended to IV-IV compounds (SiC) and II-VI materials (ZnO and its alloys, HgCdTe), corresponding to the technology evolution that has progressively introduced new semiconductor materials. The tools developed can be also applied to nanoscale device simulation. More recently, also narrow gap semiconductors have been investigated, such as HgCdTe for NIR and FIR optoelectronic applications.

The research activities have been supported by a number of joint projects with Boston University. Support from Istituto Boella (on SiC devices) and from Regione Piemonte (on strained semiconductor simulation and the CNT4SIC project) is also acknowledged, as well as support from three PRIN Italian projects and from the EUROFINDER KORRIGAN European project on GaN electronics.

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