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Lateral tunneling injection and peripheral dynamic charging in nanometer-scale Schottky gates on AlGaN/GaN hetrosturucture transistors

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4 Author(s)
Kotani, J. ; Research Center for Integrated Quantum Electronics (RCIQE) and Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, 060-8628, Japan ; Kasai, Seiya ; Hashizume, Tamotsu ; Hasegawa, Hideki

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The gate leakage and gate control characteristics of AlGaN/GaN heterostructure field effect transistors (HFETs) were systematically investigated in an attempt to clarify possible effects of surface states. The experiments were compared to rigorous computer simulations. We observed large amounts of leakage currents in the Schottky diodes fabricated on the AlGaN epitaxial layers. By the calculation based on a thin surface barrier model in which the effects of surface defect donor were taken into account, this large leakage was well explained by enhancement of tunneling transport processes due to the barrier thinning associated with ionization of surface-defect donor. On the other hand, the analysis on the current-voltage characteristics for the nanometer-scale Schottky contacts on AlGaN/GaN HFETs, indicated additional lateral leakage components. The comparison of the gate control characteristics between experiment and calculation clearly showed that the effective lateral expansion of gate length significantly impeded the gm enhancement by the reduction of geometrical gate length. This can be explained by the lateral electron tunneling process at the AlGaN surface stimulated by the pronounced gate leakage currents. Due to frequent tunneling transfer at the gate periphery, surface state occupancy near the gate becomes governed by the metal Fermi level, causing the dynamic surface state charging effects. This resulted in effective widening of the gate length, leading to degradation of gate control performance in AlGaN/GaN HFETs.

Published in:

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Jul 2005

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