The physical mechanism on the threshold voltage temperature stability improvement for GaN HEMTs with pre-fluorination argon treatment

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The physical mechanism on the threshold voltage temperature stability improvement for GaN HEMTs with pre-fluorination argon treatment
Title:
The physical mechanism on the threshold voltage temperature stability improvement for GaN HEMTs with pre-fluorination argon treatment
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Applied Physics Letters
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Publication Date:
09 June 2016
Citation:
Appl. Phys. Lett. 108, 233507 (2016)
Abstract:
In this paper, a normally-off AlGaN/GaN MIS-HEMT with improved threshold voltage (VTH) thermal stability is reported with investigations on its physical mechanism. The normally-off operation of the device is achieved from novel short argon plasma treatment (APT) prior to the fluorine plasma treatment (FPT) on Al2O3 gate dielectrics. For the MIS-HEMT with FPT only, its VTH drops from 4.2V at room temperature to 0.5V at 200 C. Alternatively, for the device with APT-then-FPT process, its VTH can retain at 2.5V at 200 C due to the increased amount of deep-level traps that do not emit electrons at 200 C. This thermally stable VTH makes this device suitable for high power applications. The depth profile of the F atoms in Al2O3, measured by the secondary ion mass spectroscopy, reveals a significant increase in the F concentration when APT is conducted prior to FPT. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis on the plasmatreated Al2O3 surfaces observes higher composition of Al-F bonds if APT was applied before FPT. The enhanced breaking of Al-O bonds due to Ar bombardment assisted in the increased incorporation of F radicals at the surface during the subsequent FPT process. The Schr€odinger equation of Al2OxFy cells, with the same Al-F compositions as obtained from XPS, was solved by Gaussian 09 molecular simulations to extract electron state distribution as a function of energy. The simulation results show creation of the deeper trap states in the Al2O3 bandgap when APT is used before FPT. Finally, the trap distribution extracted from the simulations is verified by the gate-stress experimental characterization to confirm the physical mechanism described.
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ISSN:
0003-6951
1077-3118
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