Long-term ON-state and OFF-state high-electric-field stress results are presented for unpassivated GaN/AlGaN/GaN high-electron-mobility transistors on SiC substrates. Because of the thin GaN cap layer, devices show minimal current-collapse effects prior to high-electric-field stress, despite the fact that they are not passivated. This comes at the price of a relatively high gate-leakage current. Under the assumption that donor-like electron traps are present within the GaN cap, two-dimensional numerical device simulations provide an explanation for the influence of the GaN cap layer on current collapse and for the correlation between the latter and the gate-leakage current. Both ON-state and OFF-state stresses produce simultaneous currentcollapse increase and gate-leakage-current decrease, which can be interpreted to be the result of gate–drain surface degradation and reduced gate electron injection. This study shows that although the thin GaN cap layer is effective in suppressing surface-related dispersion effects in virgin devices, it does not, per se, protect the device from high-electric-field degradation, and it should, to this aim, be adopted in conjunction with other technological solutions like surface passivation, prepassivation surface treatments, and/or field-plate gate.

Current collapse and high-electric-field reliability of unpassivated GaN/AlGaN/GaN HEMTs

MENEGHESSO, GAUDENZIO;RAMPAZZO, FABIANA;ZANONI, ENRICO
2006

Abstract

Long-term ON-state and OFF-state high-electric-field stress results are presented for unpassivated GaN/AlGaN/GaN high-electron-mobility transistors on SiC substrates. Because of the thin GaN cap layer, devices show minimal current-collapse effects prior to high-electric-field stress, despite the fact that they are not passivated. This comes at the price of a relatively high gate-leakage current. Under the assumption that donor-like electron traps are present within the GaN cap, two-dimensional numerical device simulations provide an explanation for the influence of the GaN cap layer on current collapse and for the correlation between the latter and the gate-leakage current. Both ON-state and OFF-state stresses produce simultaneous currentcollapse increase and gate-leakage-current decrease, which can be interpreted to be the result of gate–drain surface degradation and reduced gate electron injection. This study shows that although the thin GaN cap layer is effective in suppressing surface-related dispersion effects in virgin devices, it does not, per se, protect the device from high-electric-field degradation, and it should, to this aim, be adopted in conjunction with other technological solutions like surface passivation, prepassivation surface treatments, and/or field-plate gate.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2448315
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