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Impact of \hbox {N}_{2} Plasma Power Discharge on AlGaN/GaN HEMT Performance

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6 Author(s)
M. -Fátima Romero ; Departamento de Ingeniería Electrónica and the ISOM, ETSIT, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain ; Ana Jiménez ; Fernando González-Posada ; Sara Martín-Horcajo
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The effects of power and time conditions of in situ N2 plasma treatment, prior to silicon nitride (SiN) passivation, were investigated on an AlGaN/GaN high-electron mobility transistor (HEMT). These studies reveal that N2 plasma power is a critical parameter to control the SiN/AlGaN interface quality, which directly affects the 2-D electron gas density. Significant enhancement in the HEMT characteristics was observed by using a low power N2 plasma pretreatment. In contrast, a marked gradual reduction in the maximum drain-source current density (IDS max) and maximum transconductance (gm max), as well as in fT and fmax, was observed as the N2 plasma power increases (up to 40% decrease for 210 W). Different mechanisms were proposed to be dominant as a function of the discharge power range. A good correlation was observed between the device electrical characteristics and the surface assessment by atomic force microscopy and Kelvin force microscopy techniques.

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IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 2 )