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Thermal stability and failure mechanism of schottky gate AlGaN/GaN HEMTs

: Mocanu, Manuela; Unger, Christian; Pfost, Martin; Waltereit, Patrick; Reiner, Richard


IEEE transactions on electron devices 64 (2017), No.3, pp.848-855
ISSN: 0018-9383
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAF ()
3-D simulation; destructive measurement; drain-gate leakage; electrothermal; failure mechanism; high temperature; semiempirical dc model; AlGaN/GaN HEMTs

This paper investigates the electrothermal stability and the predominant defect mechanism of a Schottky gate AlGaN/GaN HEMT. Calibrated 3-D electrothermal simulations are performed using a simple semiempirical dc model, which is verified against high-temperature measurements up to 440°C. To determine the thermal limits of the safe operating area, measurements up to destruction are conducted at different operating points. The predominant failure mechanism is identified to be hot-spot formation and subsequent thermal runaway, induced by large drain-gate leakage currents that occur at high temperatures. The simulation results and the high temperature measurements confirm the observed failure patterns.