International Workshop on Nitride Semiconductors, 6 -10 October 2008

Rideal Travel Bursar Phil King reports from Montreux, Switzerland

The International Workshop on Nitride Semiconductors is a biennial conference attracting researchers from a wide range of disciplines working on the III-N semiconductors, mostly InN, GaN and AlN. This year, the conference was held on 6 -10 October 2008 in Montreux, Switzerland, and attracted over 700 attendees. The conference format consisted of two days of plenary and late news talks, followed by two days of subject-specific workshop sessions, with a plenary wrap-up session on the final day.

Within the plenary sessions, of particular interest to my studies of InN was the invited talk of Yoshikawa (Chiba University, Japan) who talked about recent advances in growth, doping and novel nanostructures of InN, and the late news talk of Gwo (NSRRC, Taiwan) who spoke about his recent photoelectron microscopy and spectroscopy measurements of cleaved a-plane InN surfaces. I  presented a plenary talk entitled ‘Understanding the Extreme Electronic Properties of InN: Chemical Trends and the Charge Neutrality Level’, which was a great experience and stimulated many useful discussions during the meeting.

For the workshop sessions, I attended the ‘Challenging materials issues: InN and high In content alloys’ symposium, where there were many talks of interest. In particular, the surface electronic properties of InN, where an extreme electron accumulation occurs, were heavily discussed, specifically considering their influence on surface electronic properties of III-N alloys, unintentional conductivity in InN, masking of p-type conductivity in InN, their effect on electrical properties of nanocolumns, and their influence on, and characterisation by, various experimental techniques. Other contributions covered a diverse range of topics ranging from detailed characterisation of the band gap, the nature of defects, p-type doping and novel growth techniques of InN.

This conference gave me the opportunity to meet and talk to many of the leading researchers in the field of InN, and the workshop format for part of the meeting facilitated many informal discussions, making this conference extremely valuable to attend.

I would like to thank SCI, and in particular the Sir Eric Rideal Trust, for awarding me a travel bursary to assist my attendance, which was a great experience and I am sure will benefit my future career.

Phil King
University of Warwick

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