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What is Gallium Arsenide (GaAs)?

Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) is a compound semiconductor: a mixture of two elements, Gallium (Ga) and Arsenic (As). Gallium is a by product of the melting of other metals, notably aluminum and zinc, and is rarer than gold. Arsenic is not rare, but it is poisonous.

The uses of Gallium arsenide are varied and include being used in some diodes, field-effect transistors (FETs), and integrated circuits (ICs). GaAs components are useful at ultra-high radio frequencies and in fast electronic switching applications. The benefit of using GaAs in devices is that it generate less noise than most other types of semiconductor components and, as a result, is useful in weak-signal amplification applications.

Furthermore, Gallium arsenide is used in the manufacture of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which are found in optical communications and control systems. Due to these benefits, GaAs is a suitable replacement for silicon in the manufacture of linear and digital ICs.

Gallium Arsenide Facts

  • Unlike silicon cells, Gallium Arsenide cells are relatively insensitive to heat.
  • Alloys made from GaAs using aluminum, phosphorus, antimony, or indium have characteristics complementary to those of gallium arsenide, allowing great flexibility.
  • GaAs is very resistant to radiation damage. This, along with its high efficiency, makes GaAs very desirable for space applications.
  • However, Gallium Arsenide does have drawbacks. The greatest barrier to the success of GaAs has been the high cost of a single-crystal GaAs substrate.

Researchers are also exploring approaches to lowering the cost of Gallium Arsenide devices, such as fabricating GaAs cells on cheaper substrates; growing GaAs cells on a removable, reusable GaAs substrate; and even making GaAs thin films similar to those of copper indium diselenide and cadmium telluride.

Gallium Arsenide typical polishing conditions:

Scratch hardness (Mohn’s scale): 3
Abrasive: Aluminium Oxide
Load (g cm-2): 60 - 80
Machine: Logitech PM5 / LP50
Fixture: Logitech PP5/6GT

Typical Lapping & Polishing Results

Flatness: 5 Fringes
Surface Finish: Ra 3-4nm
Thickness Control +/- 2 microns down to below 100 microns
Parallelism +/- 2 microns


For more information on our Gallium Arsenide processing equipment and what Logitech technology will do for your business, call us on +44 (0)1389 875444 or complete our contact form.