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For AlGaN/GaN heterojunction field-effect transistors, on-state-bias-stress (on-stress)-induced trapping effects were observed across the entire drain access region, not only at the gate edge. However, during the application of on-stress, the highest electric field was only localized at the drain side of the gate edge. Using the location of the highest electric field as a reference, the trapping effects at the gate edge and at the more distant access region were referred to as localized and non-localized trapping effect, respectively. Using two-dimensional-electron-gas sensing-bar (2DEG-sensing-bar) and dual-gate structures, the non-localized trapping effects were investigated and the trap density was measured to be ∼1.3 x 10^ cm^[-2]. The effect of passivation was also discussed. It was found that both surface leakage currents and hot electrons are responsible for the non-localized trapping effects with hot electrons having the dominant effect. Since hot electrons are generated from the 2DEG channel, it is highly likely that the involved traps are mainly in the GaN buffer layer. Using monochromatic irradiation (1.24-2.81 eV), the trap levels responsible for the non-localized trapping effects were found to be located at 0.6-1.6 eV from the valence band of GaN. Both trap-assisted impact ionization and direct channel electron injection are proposed as the possible mechanisms of the hot-electron-related non-localized trapping effect. Finally, using the 2DEG-sensing-bar structure, we directly confirmed that blocking gate injected electrons is an important mechanism of Al2O3 passivation.
- Journal of Applied Physics
Journal of Applied Physics 111(8), 084504, 2012-04-15
American Institute of Physics