The impact on self-heating mechanisms observed in GaN HEMTs fabricated on Si substrates is studied by means of a cellular Monte Carlo particle-based device simulator. Within this framework, the thermal effects are included through an energy-balance equation for phonons allowing for self-consistently coupling the charge and heat transport. First, the advanced electrothermal model of an experimental device is developed and calibrated to measured dc characteristics, showing an accurate description throughout the I DS (V GS -V DS ) space, as a result of capturing the temperature dependence of the scattering processes that modify the charge transport. Then, the model is used to assess the effect of lateral scaling, i.e., reducing the source-to-gate L SG and gate-to-drain L GD dimensions, in terms of detailed temperature maps obtained for the acoustic and optical phonon modes as well as the electric field and carrier velocity profiles. It is found that the hot spot in the channel is not located at the peak electric field as predicted by previous methods, but instead, it is shifted toward the drain up to 32 nm. Furthermore, it is shown that, while scaled devices offer improved dc and small-signal ac performance, they are subjected to temperatures up to 15% higher in the channel as compared to the original nonscaled device when dissipating the same dc power, and the temperature distribution throughout the device shows a strong correlation with the scaled layout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8601308
Pages (from-to)908-916
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • GaN
  • HEMTs
  • Monte Carlo methods
  • reliability
  • scaling
  • self-heating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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