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Radiative inter-valley transitions as a dominant emission mechanism in AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors

: Gütle, F.; Polyakov, V.M.; Baeumler, M.; Benkhelifa, F.; Müller, S.; Dammann, M.; Cäsar, M.; Quay, R.; Mikulla, M.; Wagner, J.; Ambacher, O.


Semiconductor Science and Technology 27 (2012), No.12, Art. 125003, 7 pp.
ISSN: 0268-1242
ISSN: 1361-6641
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAF ()

We report on electroluminescence (EL) emission from AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs). Intensity maxima at the drain-side edge of the gate foot and at the drain-side edge of the gate field plate are observed. To relate the EL intensity profile to the electric field along the channel, 2D device simulations have been performed at different drain biases. The dependences of both EL maxima on the electric field reveal a threshold which closely correlates with the electric field strength at which a transfer of conduction band electrons from the zone centre minimum to satellite valleys sets in. We further analyze the dependence of the EL spectra on the drain voltage. The obtained results strongly suggest that the EL emission observed in AlGaN/GaN HEMTs is dominated by radiative inter-valley electron transitions.