GaAs device passivation using sputtered silicon nitride

Chang, Edward Y.; Cibuzar, Gregory T.; Vanhove, James M.; Nagarajan, Rao M.; Pande, Krishna P.
October 1988
Applied Physics Letters;10/24/1988, Vol. 53 Issue 17, p1638
Academic Journal
This letter describes the passivation of GaAs field-effect transistors (FET’s) using sputtered silicon nitride films. A low-power reactive sputtering process for silicon nitride film deposition was developed and applied to both metal-semiconductor FET (MESFET) and high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) passivation. It is shown that the shifts in the FET parameters such as threshold voltage, breakdown voltage, and transconductance, after nitride deposition, depend not only on the stress states of the nitride films but also on the surface composition and recess geometry of the passivated surfaces. With proper deposition parameters, the sputtered silicon nitride film can be successfully used for both MESFET and HEMT passivation with only minor degradation (less than 10%) of the device performance.


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