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AlGaAs emitter heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) are demonstrated to have excellent dc and RF properties comparable to InGaP/GaAs HBTs by increasing the Al composition. Al/sub 0.35/Ga/sub 0.65/As/GaAs HBTs exhibit very high dc current gain at all bias levels, exceeding 140 at 25 A/cm/sup 2/ and reaching a maximum of 210 at 26 kA/cm/sup 2/ (L=1.4 /spl mu/m/spl times/3 /spl mu/m, R/sub sb/=330 /spl Omega///spl square/). The temperature dependence of the peak dc current gain is also significantly improved by increasing the AlGaAs mole fraction of the emitter. Device analysis suggests that a larger emitter energy gap contributes to the improved device performance by both lowering space charge recombination and increasing the barrier to reverse hole injection.