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Distinct Failure Modes of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs under ESD Conditions

Shankar, B and Raghavan, S and Shrivastava, M (2020) Distinct Failure Modes of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs under ESD Conditions. In: IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, 67 (4). pp. 1567-1574.

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TED.2020.2974508


This article reports the distinct failure mechanisms and insights on device degradation of AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) under electrostatic discharge (ESD) stress conditions. The role of device surface, MESA isolation, and gate Schottky junction in defining the degradation type is discovered. Premature breakdown at the MESA Schottky junction and dislocation induced failure in the active region and their consequences on ESD robustness are reported. Physical mechanisms responsible for snapback instability in transmission line pulsing (TLP) characteristics are discussed. Change in device failure from soft to hard with pulsewidth is revealed. Finally, the role of contact resistivity, surface diffusion, and channel electric field and its fringing effect at contacts are analyzed in context to ESD failure of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs. Various stages of device degradation during TLP stress are captured on-the-fly using high-resolution (HR) optical microscopy and high-speed Si charge-coupled device (CCD) detector. Postdevice failure, damaged regions are analyzed using transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy together with in situ energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy to probe details of failure mechanisms involved. Finally, based on the learning from this article, design guidelines for an ESD robust HEMT are proposed. © 1963-2012 IEEE.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Keywords: Aluminum gallium nitride; Charge coupled devices; Electron mobility; Electrons; Electrostatic devices; Electrostatic discharge; Energy dispersive spectroscopy; Failure (mechanical); Gallium nitride; High resolution transmission electron microscopy; III-V semiconductors; Reliability; Scanning electron microscopy; Transmissions, AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors; Charge coupled device detectors; Contact resistivities; Energy dispersive X ray spectroscopy; Physical mechanism; Schottky junctions; Snap-back instabilities; Transmission line pulsing, High electron mobility transistors
Department/Centre: Division of Electrical Sciences > Electronic Systems Engineering (Formerly Centre for Electronic Design & Technology)
Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Centre for Nano Science and Engineering
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2020 09:33
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2020 09:33
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/65162

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