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A new mixed-mode base current degradation mechanism is identified in bipolar transistors for the first time, which, at room temperature, induces a large IB leakage current only after simultaneous application of both high JC and high VCB. This new mechanism differs fundamentally from well-known IB degradation mechanisms such as the reverse EB voltage stress, high forward current stress and damage due to ionizing radiation. Extensive measurements and two-dimensional (2-D) simulations have been used to help understand the device physics associated with this new degradation mechanism.
Date of Publication: Dec 2002