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Reliability life-testing and failure-analysis of GaAs monolithic Ku-band driver amplifiers

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4 Author(s)

`Gallium-arsenide monolithic microwave integrated-circuit (MMIC) Ku-band driver amplifiers were life tested under accelerated high temperature, DC and RF conditions until failure. These MMIC are used in various applications such as radar and satellite communication systems. The failure mechanisms controlling their reliability must be understood in order to improve the lifetime for these and other applications. This paper discusses the experimental procedures, statistical evaluation of the data and failure analysis of the devices. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of RF life testing of dual-gate driver amplifiers. The majority of the devices failed catastrophically due to high drain current, while others failed parametrically due to low output power. Failure analysis indicates that degradation of the Si3N4 dielectric layer to be the main failure mechanism in these MMIC. Statistical analysis revealed an activation energy of 0.87 eV and a median lifetime of 5.8·104 hours at 140°C channel temperature, which is consistent with surface-phenomena failure mechanisms

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Reliability, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 2 )