ECE 335 Advances in Semiconductor UV Devices

The wide-bandgap semiconductor, also known as the third-generation semiconductor, is among the most invested and active research fields around the globe. Because of its superior optical and electronic properties as well as high stability, it has been deployed in almost every product that runs on electricity. As a result, hundreds of billions of dollars of economy and massive employment opportunities have been created. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014 awarded to the inventors of blue LED is a direct result of the wide-bandgap semiconductor research. However, the research is still at its infancy with numerous unexplored territories and enormous opportunities ahead. This course will focus on cutting-edge research of wide bandgap semiconductor optical and electronic devices. Each student would have the opportunity of diving deep into one sub research topic and strive to become an expert. The course study will be closely related to the ongoing research at KAUST and many leading labs in the world. Thus, the students will be able to potentially author scientific papers. The course teaching will implement active learning to cultivate students' enthusiasm, higher-order thinking ability, and intellectual agility, which are critical for becoming a successful scientist or engineer. Out of many potential applications of III-nitride semiconductors, UV LED is regarded as the key technology to chemical curing and produce clean water & air. The market potentials are enormous. However, its efficiency today is 40 times lower than that of blue LED. Specifically, the students are expected to use a software to design UV LED emitting at 280 nm by using polarization engineering with the goal of improving its internal quantum efficiency (IQE) compared to a conventional design. The IQE comprises two parts: carrier injection efficiency and radiative recombination efficiency. The polarization is a unique property the III-nitride semiconductors possess. It can either bend up or down conduction and valence bands, thereby changing how electrons and holes move and recombine. Thus it can play in key role in enhancing or lowering the carrier injection efficiency and radiative recombination efficiency.




ECE 208, ECE 206