Physics-based TCAD device simulations and measurements of GaN HEMT technology for RF power amplifier applications

Abstract : GaN High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMTs) have demonstrated their capabilities to be an excellent candidate for high power microwave and mm-wave applications. However, the presence of traps in the device structure significantly degrades the device performance and also detriments the device reliability. Moreover, the origin of these traps and their physical location remains unclear till today. A part of the research work carried out in this thesis is focused on characterizing the traps existing in the GaN/AlGaN/GaN HEMT devices using LF S-parameter measurements, LF noise measurements and drain-lag characterization. Furthermore, we have used TCAD-based physical device simulations in order to identify the physically confirm the location of traps in the device. Moreover, our experimental characterization and simulation study suggest that LF measurements could be an effective tool for characterizing the traps existing in the GaN buffer whereas gate-lag characterization could be more useful to characterize the AlGaN barrier traps of GaN HEMT devices. The second aspect of this research work is focused on characterizing the AlN/GaN/AlGaN HEMT devices grown on Si and SiC substrate. We attempt to characterize the temperature-dependent on-resistance (RON) extraction of these devices using on-wafer measurements and TCAD-based physical simulations. Furthermore, we have proposed a simplified methodology to extract the temperature and bias-dependent channel sheet resistance (Rsh) and parasitic series contact resistance (Rse) of AlN/GaN HEMT devices. Further, we have made a comprehensive evaluation of thermal behavior of these devices using on-wafer measurements and TCAD-based three-dimensional (3D) thermal simulations. The thermal resistance (RTH) has been extracted for various geometries of the device using measurements and validated using TCAD-thermal simulations.
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Nandha Kumar Subramani. Physics-based TCAD device simulations and measurements of GaN HEMT technology for RF power amplifier applications. Electronics. Université de Limoges, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017LIMO0084⟩. ⟨tel-01702325⟩

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