Definition

gallium arsenide (GaAs)

Part of the Electronics glossary:

Gallium arsenide (chemical formula GaAs) is a semiconductor compound used in some diode s, field-effect transistor s (FETs), and integrated circuit s (ICs). The charge carriers, which are mostly electron s,move at high speed among the atom s. This makes GaAs components useful at ultra-high radio frequencies, and in fast electronic switching applications. GaAs devices generate less noise than most other types of semiconductor components. This is important in weak-signal amplification.

Gallium arsenide is used in the manufacture of light-emitting diode s (LEDs), which are found in optical communications and control systems. Gallium arsenide can replace silicon in the manufacture of linear ICs and digital ICs. Linear (also called analog ) devices include oscillator s and amplifier s. Digital devices are used for electronic switching, and also in computer systems.

This was last updated in March 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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