Gallium oxide (Ga2O3) is a promising semiconductor for next-generation high-power electronics due to its ultra-wide bandgap and high critical breakdown field. To utilize its unique electrical properties for real-world applications, an accurate description of its electronic structure under device-operating conditions is required. Although the majority of first-principles models focus on the ground state, temperature effects govern the key properties of all semiconductors, including carrier mobility, band edge positions, and optical absorption in indirect gap materials. We report on the temperature-dependent electronic band structure of β-Ga2O3 in a wide temperature range from T = 0 to 900 K using first-principles simulations and optical measurements. Band edge shifts from lattice thermal expansion and phonon-induced lattice vibrations known as electron-phonon renormalization are evaluated by utilizing the quasi-harmonic approximation and the recently developed "one-shot"frozen phonon method, respectively. Electron-phonon effects and thermal expansion together induce a substantial temperature-dependence on the bandgap, reducing it by more than 0.5 eV between T = 0 and 900 K, larger than that observed in other wide bandgap materials. Key implications, including an increase in carrier concentrations, a reduction in carrier mobilities due to localization of band edge states, and an ∼20% reduction in the critical breakdown field, are discussed. Our prediction of temperature-dependent bandgap matches very well with experimental measurements and highlights the importance of accounting for such effects in first-principles simulations of wide bandgap semiconductors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)