Surface passivation effects on AlGaN/GaN high-electron-mobility transistors with SiO[sub 2], Si[sub 3]N[sub 4], and silicon oxynitride

Arulkumaran, S.; Egawa, T.; Ishikawa, H.; Jimbo, T.; Sano, Y.
January 2004
Applied Physics Letters;1/26/2004, Vol. 84 Issue 4, p613
Academic Journal
Surface passivation effects were studied on AlGaN/GaN high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) using SiO[sub 2], Si[sub 3]N[sub 4], and silicon oxynitride (SiON) formed by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. An increase of I[sub Dmax] and g[sub mmax] has been observed on the passivated (SiO[sub 2], Si[sub 3]N[sub 4] and SiON) HEMTs when compared with the unpassivated HEMTs. About an order of magnitude low I[sub gLeak] and three orders of magnitude high I[sub gLeak] was observed on Si[sub 3]N[sub 4] and SiO[sub 2] passivated HEMTs, respectively, when compared with the unpassivated HEMTs. The increase of I[sub gLeak] is due to the occurrence of surface related traps, which was confirmed by the observation of kink and hysteresis effect on dc and ac I[sub DS]–V[sub DS] characteristics, respectively. Though the Si[sub 3]N[sub 4] passivated HEMTs show better dc characteristics, the breakdown voltage (BV[sub gd]) characteristics are not comparable with SiO[sub 2], SiON passivated and unpassivated HEMTs. The SiON is also a very promising candidate as a surface passivant for AlGaN/GaN HEMTs because it shows better BV[sub gd] with low hysteresis width and small I[sub D] collapse than Si[sub 3]N[sub 4] passivated HEMTs. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.


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