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Compensation Dopant-Free GaN-on-Si HEMTs With a Polarization Engineered Buffer for RF Applications

TitleCompensation Dopant-Free GaN-on-Si HEMTs With a Polarization Engineered Buffer for RF Applications
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsGowrisankar, A, Charan, VSai, Chandrasekar, H, Venugopalarao, A, Muralidharan, R, Raghavan, S, Nath, DN
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
KeywordsAluminum gallium nitride, HEMTs, MODFETs, Radio frequency, Substrates, Transistors, wide band gap semiconductors

We report on the performance of compensation doping-free aluminum gallium-nitride (AlGaN)/gallium-nitride (GaN) high-electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) realized using a polarization-graded buffer scheme on Silicon for RF applications. We use a compositionally reverse-graded AlGaN (g-AlGaN) layer to engineer a resistive buffer, which in addition to acting as a back-barrier, circumvent the need for compensation dopants such as Fe or C. As a proof of concept, we have demonstrated transistors with 0.35 μm gate length and source-connected field plates. Devices exhibit a maximum drain current of 1 A/mm and OFF-state breakdown voltage of 144 V. Gate- and drain-lag pulsed IV measurements show very low-current collapse (CC) indicating minimal buffer- and surface-trapping. Further evidence from substrate ramp characterization shows positive charge storage in the buffer, indicating a reduced buffer back-gating effect under dynamic conditions. RF performance of HEMTs on these polarization-graded buffers is reported with a peak fof 49.2/86.4 GHz. Load-pull measurements at 10 GHz yielded an output power of 1.45 W/mm with a power-added efficiency (PAE) of 11%.