GaAs Wafer | What is Gallium Arsenide?


March 29, 2018

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Gallium is a soft, silvery metal used primarily in electronic circuits, semiconductors, and light-emitting diodes. It is also useful in high-temperature thermometers, barometers, pharmaceuticals and nuclear medicine tests. Let’s take a look at some facts about gallium arsenide at is pertains to a GaAs wafer.

Gallium Arsenide Facts

  • In nature, gallium is never found as a free element and cannot be found in a substantial amount in any minerals.
  • By weight, gallium makes up about 0.0019% of Earth's crust.
  • The largest producers of gallium are Australia, Russia, France, and Germany.
  • Most commercial gallium is extracted as a byproduct of aluminum and zinc production.
  • Atomic number: 31
  • Atomic weight: 69.723
  • Melting point: 85.57 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Gallium is used primarily in electronics.
  • 95% of all gallium produced is used to make gallium arsenide (GaAs), a compound used in microwave and infrared circuits, semiconductors and blue and violet LEDs.
  • Gallium arsenide can produce laser light directly from electricity and is used in solar panels, including those on the Mars Exploration Rover.
  • Gallium is a post-transition metal.
  • Although it is a solid at room temperature Gallium is still so soft that you could cut it with a knife.
  • Gallium bonds easily with most metals and is commonly used to make low-melting alloys.

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