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Resolving the doping limitations in aluminum gallium nitride


In short: We achieve better understanding of the complex growth phenomena underlying the deposition of the ultimate wide band gap semiconductor AlN and high-Al-content AlGaN alloys; and  related doping by silicon (Si). We contribute essential new knowledge in explaining the notorious sharp increase of resistivity of Si-doped high-Al-content AlGaN alloys by corroborating aspects of material growth with electron paramagnetic resonance measurements.


Aluminum nitride (AlN) is a previously well-established and valued insulator and ceramic material. However, AlN was demonstrated to give rise to light emission by achieving a successful doping of crystalline quality material (Nature, 2006).

By that, the frontier of semiconductor materials expanded well into the deep-ultraviolet region. There is a target to achieve intense emission at certain specific wavelengths of 250-270 nm in the deep-ultraviolet region. This specific emission is particularly damaging for the DNA of various microorganisms, and thus can be applied for the distraction of bacteria, viruses, fungi. The deep-ultraviolet diodes based on aluminum nitride are intended for implementation in portable units for water/surface/air disinfection, and being of great social impact.


Details of our research are described in the following journal articles:

Lattice parameters of AlN bulk, homoepitaxial and heteroepitaxial material
J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 49, 175108 (2016)
doi: 10.1088/0022-3727/49/17/175108

Authors: Daniel Nilsson, Erik Janzén, and Anelia Kakanakova-Georgieva

n-type conductivity bound by the growth temperature: the case of Al0.72Ga0.28N highly doped by silicon
J Mater Chem C, 4, 8219 (2016)
doi: 10.1039/C6TC02825J

Authors: Anelia Kakanakova-Georgieva, S.-L. Sahonta, Daniel Nilsson, Xuan Thang Trinh, Nguyen Tien Son, Erik Janzén and C. J. Humphreys

On the behavior of silicon donor in conductive AlxGa1–xN (0.63 ≤ x ≤ 1)
Phys. Status Solidi B 252, pp. 1306-1310 (2015)
doi: 10.1002/pssb.201451559

Authors: Daniel Nilsson, Xuan Thang Trinh, Erik Janzén, Nguyen Tien Son, and Anelia Kakanakova-Georgieva.

Stable and metastable Si negative-U centers in AlGaN and AlN
Applied Physics Letters 105, 162106 (2014)
doi: 10.1063/1.4900409

Authors: Xuan Thang Trinh, Daniel Nilsson, Ivan G. Ivanov, Erik Janzén, Anelia Kakanakova-Georgieva, and Nguyen Tien Son


Strain and morphology compliance during the intentional doping of high-Al-content
AlGaN layers

Applied Physics Letters 105, 082106 (2014)
doi: 10.1063/1.4894173

Authors: D. Nilsson, E. Janzén, and A. Kakanakova-Georgieva


Silicon and oxygen in high-Al-content AlGaN: incorporation kinetics and electron paramagnetic resonance study

Solid state phenomena 205-206, 441 (2014)
doi: 10.4028/www.scientific.net/SSP.205-206.441

Authors: A. Kakanakova-Georgieva, D. Nilsson, X.T. Trinh, N.T. Son and E. Janzén


Negative-U behavior of the Si donor in Al0.77Ga0.23N

Applied Physics Letters 103, 042101 (2013)      doi: 10.1063/1.4816266

AuthorsX.T. Thang, D. Nilsson, I.G. Ivanov, E. Janzén, A. Kakanakova-Georgieva, and N.T. Son


The complex impact of silicon and oxygen on the n-type conductivity of high-Al-content AlGaN

Applied Physics Letters 102, 132113 (2013)      doi: 10.1063/1.4800978

AuthorsA. Kakanakova-Georgieva, D. NilssonX.T. ThangN.T. Son and E. Janzén



A. Kakanakova-Georgieva, associate professor
Phone: +46 (0)13 28 26 49
E-mail: anelia@ifm.liu.se

Nguyen Tien Son, professor
Phone: +46 (0)13 28 25 31
E-mail: son@ifm.liu.se



  • Swedish Research Council (VR).
  • Linköping Linnaeus Initiative for Novel Functional Materials (VR)
  • Swedish Energy Agency
  • Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW).
  • Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA)


Responsible for this page: Fredrik Karlsson
Last updated: 09/09/16