Examining Different Regimes of Ionization-Induced Damage in GaN Through Atomistic Simulations

Miguel C. Sequeira, Flyura Djurabekova, Kai Nordlund, Jean-Gabriel Mattei, Isabelle Monnet, Clara Grygiel, Eduardo Alves, Katharina Lorenz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The widespread adoption of gGaN in radiation-hard semiconductor devices relies on a comprehensive understanding of its response to strongly ionizing radiation. Despite being widely acclaimed for its high radiation resistance, the exact effects induced by ionization are still hard to predict due to the complex phase-transition diagrams and defect creation-annihilation dynamics associated with group-III nitrides. Here, the Two-Temperature Model, Molecular Dynamics simulations and Transmission Electron Microscopy, are employed to study the interaction of Swift Heavy Ions with GaN at the atomic level. The simulations reveal a high propensity of GaN to recrystallize the region melted by the impinging ion leading to high thresholds for permanent track formation. Although the effect exists in all studied electronic energy loss regimes, its efficiency is reduced with increasing electronic energy loss, in particular when there is dissociation of the material and subsequent formation of N2 bubbles. The recrystallization is also hampered near the surface where voids and pits are prominent. The exceptional agreement between the simulated and experimental results establishes the applicability of the model to examine the entire electronic energy loss spectrum. Furthermore, the model supports an empirical relation between the interaction cross sections (namely for melting and amorphization) and the electronic energy loss.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2102235
StatePublished - Oct 30 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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