Ternary zincblende-derived I-III-VI2 chalcogenide and II-IV-V2 pnictide semiconductors have been widely studied and some have been put to practical use. In contrast to the extensive research on these semiconductors, previous studies into ternary I-III-O2 oxide semiconductors with a wurtzite-derived β-NaFeO2 structure are limited. Wurtzite-derived β-LiGaO2 and β-AgGaO2 form alloys with ZnO and the band gap of ZnO can be controlled to include the visible and ultraviolet regions. β-CuGaO2, which has a direct band gap of 1.47 eV, has been proposed for use as a light absorber in thin film solar cells. These ternary oxides may thus allow new applications for oxide semiconductors. However, information about wurtzite-derived ternary I-III-O2 semiconductors is still limited. In this paper we review previous studies on β-LiGaO2, β-AgGaO2 and β-CuGaO2 to determine guiding principles for the development of wurtzite-derived I-III-O2 semiconductors.
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