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Strain control of AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistor structures on silicon (111) by plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy

: Aidam, R.; Diwo, E.; Rollbühler, N.; Kirste, L.; Benkhelifa, F.


Journal of applied physics 111 (2012), Nr.11, Art. 114516, 6 S.
ISSN: 0021-8979
ISSN: 1089-7550
Fraunhofer IAF ()

This paper reports on the use of plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy of AlGaN/GaN-based high electron mobility transistor structures grown on 4 in. Si (111) substrates. In situ measurements of wafer curvature during growth proved to be a very powerful method to analyze the buffer layer's thickness dependent strain. The Ga/N ratio at the beginning of growth of the GaN buffer layer is the critical parameter to control the compressive strain of the entire grown structure. An engineered amount of compressive strain must be designed into the structure to perfectly compensate for the tensile strain caused by differences in the thermal expansion coefficient between the epi-layer and substrate during sample cool down from growth temperatures. A maximum film thickness of 4.2 lm was achieved without the formation of any cracks and a negligible bow of the wafers below 10 lm. Measurement of the as-grown wafers revealed depth profiles of the charge carrier concentration comparable to values achieved on SiC substrates and mobility values of the two dimensional electron gas in the range 1230 to 1350 cm2/Vs at a charge carrier concentration of 6.5-7 1012/cm2. First results on processed wafers with 2 lm thick buffer layer indicate very promising results with a resistance of the buffer, measured on 200 lm long contacts with 15 lm pitch, in the range of R>109 X at 100V and breakdown voltages up to 550 V.