Gallium phosphide (GaP), a phosphide of gallium, is a compound semiconductor material with an indirect band gap of 2.24 eV at room temperature. The polycrystalline material has the appearance of pale orange or grayish pieces. Undoped single crystals are orange, but strongly doped wafers appear darker due to free-carrier absorption. It is odorless and insoluble in water.
3D model (JSmol)
|Molar mass||100.70 g/mol|
|Appearance||pale orange solid|
|Melting point||1,480 °C; 2,690 °F; 1,750 K|
|Band gap||2.24 eV (indirect, 300 K)|
|Electron mobility||300 cm2/(V·s) (300 K)|
|Thermal conductivity||0.752 W/(cm·K) (300 K)|
Refractive index (nD)
|3.02 (2.48 µm), 3.19 (840 nm), 3.45 (550 nm), 4.30 (262 nm)|
a = 549.05 pm
|Flash point||110 °C (230 °F; 383 K)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Gallium phosphide has applications in optical systems. Its refractive index is between 4.30 at 262 nm (UV), 3.45 at 550 nm (green) and 3.19 at 840 nm (IR), which is higher than in most known materials, including diamond (2.4).
Gallium phosphide has been used in the manufacture of low-cost red, orange, and green light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with low to medium brightness since the 1960s. It has a relatively short life at higher current and its lifetime is sensitive to temperature. It is used standalone or together with gallium arsenide phosphide.
Gallium phosphide is transparent for yellow and red light, therefore GaAsP-on-GaP LEDs are more efficient than GaAsP-on-GaAs.
At temperatures above ~900 °C, gallium phosphide dissociates and the phosphorus escapes as a gas. In crystal growth from a 1500 °C melt (for LED wafers), this must be prevented by holding the phosphorus in with a blanket of molten boric oxide in inert gas pressure of 10-100 atmospheres. The process is called liquid encapsulated Czochralski (LEC) growth, an elaboration of the Czochralski process used for silicon wafers.