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The dependence of current slump in AlGaN/GaN HEMTs on the thickness of the AlGaN barrier was observed. Power measurements on a 2/spl times/125/spl times/0.3 /spl mu/m AlGaN/GaN HEMT made on Silicon Carbide (SiC) substrates with an AlGaN thickness of 10 nm gave a saturated output power of 1.23 W/mm at 8 GHz whereas a device with the same dimensions fabricated on samples with an AlGaN barrier of 20 nm gave a saturated output power of 2.65 W/mm at the same frequency. RF load line measurements clearly show the reduction of RF full channel current as compared to dc full channel current and the increase in the RF knee voltage compared to the dc knee voltage, with the effect being more pronounced in thin barrier samples. Passivation improved the large signal performance of these devices. A 1/spl times/150/spl times/0.3 /spl mu/m transistor made on AlGaN(20 nm)/GaN structure gave a saturated output power of 10.7 W/mm (40% power added efficiency) at 10 GHz after passivation. This represents the state of the art microwave power density for AlGaN/GaN HEMTs. Heating of the transistors during high-power operation of these devices becomes the important factor in limiting their performance after passivation.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2001