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Current Collapse and High-Electric-Field Reliability of Unpassivated GaN/AlGaN/GaN HEMTs

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5 Author(s)
Meneghesso, G. ; Dept. of Inf. Eng., Padova Univ. ; Rampazzo, F. ; Kordos, P. ; Verzellesi, G.
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Long-term ON-state and OFF-state high-electric-field stress results are presented for unpassivated GaN/AlGaN/GaN high-electron-mobility transistors on SiC substrates. Because of the thin GaN cap layer, devices show minimal current-collapse effects prior to high-electric-field stress, despite the fact that they are not passivated. This comes at the price of a relatively high gate-leakage current. Under the assumption that donor-like electron traps are present within the GaN cap, two-dimensional numerical device simulations provide an explanation for the influence of the GaN cap layer on current collapse and for the correlation between the latter and the gate-leakage current. Both ON-state and OFF-state stresses produce simultaneous current-collapse increase and gate-leakage-current decrease, which can be interpreted to be the result of gate-drain surface degradation and reduced gate electron injection. This study shows that although the thin GaN cap layer is effective in suppressing surface-related dispersion effects in virgin devices, it does not, per se, protect the device from high-electric-field degradation, and it should, to this aim, be adopted in conjunction with other technological solutions like surface passivation, prepassivation surface treatments, and/or field-plate gate

Published in:

Electron Devices, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 12 )

Date of Publication:

Dec. 2006

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