GaN-HEMTs with p-GaN gate have recently demonstrated to be excellent normally-off devices for application in power conversion systems, thanks to the high and robust threshold voltage (VTH>1 V), the high breakdown voltage, and the low dynamic Ron increase. For this reason, studying the stability and reliability of these devices under high stress conditions is of high importance. This paper reports on our most recent results on the field- and time-dependent degradation of GaN-HEMTs with p-GaN gate submitted to stress with positive gate bias. Based on combined step-stress experiments, constant voltage stress and electroluminescence testing we demonstrated that: (i) when submitted to high/positive gate stress, the transistors may show a negative threshold voltage shift, that is ascribed to the injection of holes from the gate metal towards the p-GaN/AlGaN interface; (ii) in a step-stress experiment, the analyzed commercial devices fail at gate voltages higher than 9-10 V, due to the extremely high electric field over the p-GaN/AlGaN stack; (iii) constant voltage stress tests indicate that the failure is also time-dependent and Weibull distributed. The several processes that can explain the time-dependent failure are discussed in the following.
G. Meneghesso, M. Meneghini, I. Rossetto, E. Canato, J. Bartholomeus, C. De Santi, N. Trivellin, and E. Zanoni, "GaN HEMTs with p-GaN gate: field- and time-dependent degradation," Proc. SPIE 10104, Gallium Nitride Materials and Devices XII, 1010419 (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 01, 2017; Published: 16 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2250334.
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