Surface and mechanical stress effects in AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors
Author(s)Jayanta Joglekar, Sameer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
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Gallium Nitride (GaN) belongs to a class of materials called wide band-gap semiconductors. In recent years, the versatile nature of this material has been exploited for a wide range of applications from solid state lighting to RF and microwave communication, as well as high power switching. The first part of this thesis discusses planar AlGaN/GaN transistors. GaN is a piezoelectric material, and changes in mechanical stress result in a change in the charge density which in turn affects the maximum current in AlGaN/GaN transistors. Finite element modelling techniques were applied to quantify the mechanical stress distribution in planar AlGaN/GaN RF transistors resulting from device fabrication, and operation in the on- and off-state. Thereafter, two important surface and interface effects were studied in this thesis. In the first one, the impact of surface cleanings, surface treatments and plasma-based dry etch conditions on two different types of ohmic contact technologies was investigated. Contact resistance measurements were correlated with surface characterization results. The second was that of interface positive charges at the Al₂O₃-GaN interface and the increase in electron density in the device resulting from them. In both these problems, a combination of device electrical measurements and material characterization techniques was used to establish direct correlations between device behavior and material properties. The second part of the thesis deals exclusively with nano-ribbon (NR) or fin-like AlGaN/GaN transistors. Fundamental transport properties of charge density and mobility in NR devices were studied in order to understand the difference in behavior of these devices from planar devices. The influence of passivation films on the charge density in these structures was investigated, using Al₂O₃ passivation as a specific example. Electron mobility degradation due to sidewall-scattering in NR devices was quantified using different mobility extraction methods based on device measurements. The thesis concludes with a potential application of NR AlGaN/GaN transistors for high linearity power amplification. A new kind of transistor with varying threshold voltages along the gate width is proposed to improve the DC and RF linearity of GaN-based devices.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 2017.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 153-161).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials Science and Engineering.