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The characteristics of AlGaAs/InGaAs/GaAs depletion-mode (D-mode) and enhancement-mode (E-mode) pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistors (PHEMTs) fabricated using an electroless-plated (EP) deposition approach are investigated. Under the low-temperature and low-energy conditions, the EP deposition approach can form a better metal-semiconductor interface. For the studied devices, with a 1times100 mum2 gate dimension, excellent characteristics of the maximum drain saturation current (168.9 mA/mm) and extrinsic transconductance (225.8 mS/mm) are obtained for the D-mode device. The corresponding values for the E-mode device are 152.5 mA/mm and 211.7 mS/mm, respectively. Moreover, the EP approach also has the advantages of easy operation and low cost.