DOI: 10.1063/5.0176944 ISSN: 0021-8979

Analysis and modeling of reverse-biased gate leakage current in AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors

Narendra Rai, Ritam Sarkar, Ashutosh Mahajan, Apurba Laha, Dipankar Saha, Swaroop Ganguly
  • General Physics and Astronomy

We have analyzed and modeled the reverse-biased gate leakage current in a Schottky-gate AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistor. While the Poole–Frenkel emission current along conductive threading dislocations dominates at low negative gate bias, the trap-assisted tunneling of thermally energized electrons and the thermal emission of electrons from threading dislocations aided by dislocation-related states at multiple energy levels within the AlGaN bandgap are dominant at moderate to large reverse bias. Additionally, deep trap levels of high density localized near the gate/AlGaN interface cause significant leakage at 473 K at low to moderate reverse bias, which could be specific to the device we have analyzed. We extracted about 1012 cm−2 traps near the AlGaN/GaN interface from the difference of the barrier layer electric field profile obtained from the experimental high-frequency capacitance–gate voltage and the one needed for final matching. The thermionic- and the thermionic field-emission currents are considerably low; the latter, however, dominates in the defect-free case. Finally, the simulation framework we developed here helped us identify various conduction mechanisms contributing to the reverse-biased gate leakage and the density and electronic structure of the responsible defects.

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