Buffer Related Dispersive Effects in Microwave GaN HEMTs
Abstract: In applications such as mobile communication and radar, microwave power generation at high frequency is of utmost importance. The GaN HEMT offers a unique set of properties that makes it suitable for high power amplification at high frequencies. However, their performance is limited by trap states, leading to reduced output power and time variant effects. Furthermore, for good high frequency performance a high efficiency it is essential to limit the access resistances in the transistor. The GaN HEMT technology has long lacked a good ohmic contact with good reproducibility. In this thesis, three buffer designs are considered; C-doped GaN, AlGaN back barriers and a thin GaN structure. The three designs are evaluated in terms of trapping effects using the drain current transient technique. For the C-doped GaN buffer, trapping at dislocations covered with C-clusters is believed to be the main factor limiting output power. Dislocations are presumed to play a major role for the trapping behavior of AlGaN back barriers and the thin structure as well. The maximum output powers for C-doped GaN, AlGaN back barriers and the thin structure are 3.3, 2.7, and 3.9 W/mm at 30 GHz. The output power is found to be limited by trapping effects for all buffer designs. Moreover, a Ta-based, recessed ohmic contact enables a contact resistance of down to 0.14 Ωmm. The results also indicate that a highly reproducible process might be possible for deeply recessed contacts. An optimized AlGaN/GaN interface shows high mobility \textgreater2000 cm2/Vs without the use of an AlN-exclusion layer. The improved interface also decreases trapping effects and the gate-source capacitance at large electric fields compared to an unoptimized interface.
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