This paper reports an extensive analysis of the electrostatic discharge (ESD) robustness and of the corresponding failure mechanisms of AlGaN/gallium nitride high-electron mobility transistors. Based on transmission line pulse testing, we demonstrate the following results: 1) when ESD pulses are applied to the drain under pinchoff conditions, failure occurs through a field-dependent mechanism; the failure voltage is independent on the gate bias, and approximately equal to 300 V; 2) when ESD pulses are applied to the drain under ON-state conditions, a power-dependent mechanism prevails, lowering the ESD robustness; 3) vertical (drain substrate) breakdown does not significantly affect the ESD stability of the devices; the failure threshold for vertical failure is higher than 450 V; and 4) the length of the field plate can significantly impact the ESD behavior of the devices, by influencing the failure threshold and by favoring soft-degradation processes. Scanning electron microscopy was extensively used to achieve a complete description of the failure processes. © 2015 IEEE.

Demonstration of Field- and Power-Dependent ESD Failure in AlGaN/GaN RF HEMTs

ROSSETTO, ISABELLA;MENEGHINI, MATTEO;BARBATO, MARCO;RAMPAZZO, FABIANA;MENEGHESSO, GAUDENZIO;ZANONI, ENRICO
2015

Abstract

This paper reports an extensive analysis of the electrostatic discharge (ESD) robustness and of the corresponding failure mechanisms of AlGaN/gallium nitride high-electron mobility transistors. Based on transmission line pulse testing, we demonstrate the following results: 1) when ESD pulses are applied to the drain under pinchoff conditions, failure occurs through a field-dependent mechanism; the failure voltage is independent on the gate bias, and approximately equal to 300 V; 2) when ESD pulses are applied to the drain under ON-state conditions, a power-dependent mechanism prevails, lowering the ESD robustness; 3) vertical (drain substrate) breakdown does not significantly affect the ESD stability of the devices; the failure threshold for vertical failure is higher than 450 V; and 4) the length of the field plate can significantly impact the ESD behavior of the devices, by influencing the failure threshold and by favoring soft-degradation processes. Scanning electron microscopy was extensively used to achieve a complete description of the failure processes. © 2015 IEEE.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3183758
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