Degradation in InAlN/GaN-based heterostructure field effect transistors: Role of hot phonons

Leach, J. H.; Zhu, C. Y.; Wu, M.; Ni, X.; Li, X.; Xie, J.; Özgür, Ü.; Morkoç, H.; Liberis, J.; Sˇermuksˇnis, E.; Matulionis, A.; Cheng, H.; Kurdak, Ç.
November 2009
Applied Physics Letters;11/30/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 22, p223504
Academic Journal
We report on high electric field stress measurements at room temperature on InAlN/AlN/GaN heterostructure field effect transistor structures. The degradation rate as a function of the average electron density in the GaN channel (as determined by gated Hall bar measurements for the particular gate biases used), has a minimum for electron densities around 1×1013 cm-2, and tends to follow the hot phonon lifetime dependence on electron density. The observations are consistent with the buildup of hot longitudinal optical phonons and their ultrafast decay at about the same electron density in the GaN channel. In part because they have negligible group velocity, the build up of these hot phonons causes local heating, unless they decay rapidly to longitudinal acoustic phonons, and this is likely to cause defect generation which is expected to be aggravated by existing defects. These findings call for modified approaches in modeling device degradation.


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