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Trapping and Reliability investigations in GaN-based HEMTs

Abstract : GaN-based high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) are promising candidates for future microwave equipment, such as new solid state power amplifiers (SSPAs), thanks to their excellent performance. A first demonstration of GaN-MMIC transmitter has been developed and put on board the PROBA-V mission. But this technology still suffers from the trapping phenomena, principally due to lattice defects. Thus, the aim of this research is to investigate the trapping effects and the reliability aspects of the GH50 power transistors for C-band applications. A new trap investigation protocol to obtain a complete overview of trap behavior from DC to radio-frequency operation modes, based on combined pulsed I/V measurements, DC and RF drain current measurements, and low-frequency dispersion measurements, is proposed. Furthermore, a nonlinear electro-thermal AlGaN/GaN model with a new additive thermal-trap model including the dynamic behavior of these trap states and their associated temperature variations is presented, in order to correctly predict the RF performance during real RF operating conditions. Finally, an advanced time-domain methodology is presented in order to investigate the device’s reliability and to determine its safe operating area. This methodology is based on the continual monitoring of the RF waveforms and DC parameters under overdrive conditions in order to assess the degradation of the transistor characteristics in the RF power amplifier.
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Agostino Benvegnù. Trapping and Reliability investigations in GaN-based HEMTs. Electronics. Université de Limoges; Università degli studi (Padoue, Italie), 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016LIMO0064⟩. ⟨tel-01643704⟩

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