Enhancement of AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors off-state drain breakdown voltage via backside proton irradiation

Shun Li, Ya Hsi Hwang, Yueh Ling Hsieh, Lei Lei, Fan Ren, Stephen J. Pearton, Erin Patrick, Mark E. Law, Camilo Velez Cuervo, David Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Proton irradiation from the backside of the samples were employed to enhance off-state drain breakdown voltage of AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) grown on Si substrates. Via holes were fabricated directly under the active area of the HEMTs by etching through the Si substrate for subsequent backside proton irradiation. By taking the advantage of the steep drop at the end of proton energy loss profile, the defects created by the proton irradiation from the backside of the sample could be precisely placed at specific locations inside the AlGaN/GaN HEMT structure. There were no degradation of drain current nor enhancement of off-state drain voltage breakdown voltage observed for the irradiated AlGaN/GaN HEMTs with the proton energy of 225 or 275keV, for which the defects created by the proton irradiations were intentionally placed in the GaN buffer. HEMTs with defects placed in the two dimensional electron gas (2DEG) channel region and AlGaN barrier using 330 or 340keV protons not only showed degradation of both drain current and extrinsic transconductance but also exhibited improvement of the off-state drain breakdown voltage. The Florida Object Oriented Device and Process Simulator Technology Computer Aided Design finite-element simulations were performed to confirm the hypothesis of a virtual gate formed around the 2DEG region to reduce the peak electric field around the gate edges and increase the off-state drain breakdown voltage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021203
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B:Nanotechnology and Microelectronics
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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