Analysis of the dependence of critical electric field on semiconductor bandgap

Oleksiy Slobodyan, Jack Flicker, Jeramy Dickerson, Jonah Shoemaker, Andrew Binder, Trevor Smith, Stephen Goodnick, Robert Kaplar, Mark Hollis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Understanding of semiconductor breakdown under high electric fields is an important aspect of materials’ properties, particularly for the design of power devices. For decades, a power-law has been used to describe the dependence of material-specific critical electrical field (Ecrit) at which the material breaks down and bandgap (Eg). The relationship is often used to gauge tradeoffs of emerging materials whose properties haven’t yet been determined. Unfortunately, the reported dependencies of Ecrit on Eg cover a surprisingly wide range in the literature. Moreover, Ecrit is a function of material doping. Further, discrepancies arise in Ecrit values owing to differences between punch-through and non-punch-through device structures. We report a new normalization procedure that enables comparison of critical electric field values across materials, doping, and different device types. An extensive examination of numerous references reveals that the dependence Ecrit ∝ Eg1.83 best fits the most reliable and newest data for both direct and indirect semiconductors. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-865
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 28 2022


  • Devices
  • Electrical properties
  • III–V
  • Semiconducting
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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