Effect of gate structures on the DC and RF performance of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs


This work analyzes the effect of various gate structures on the DC and radio frequency (RF) performance of AlGaN/GaN high-electron mobility transistors (HEMTs). AlGaN/GaN HEMT devices with a 3 μm drain-to-source spacing, 125 μm gate width and 0.3 μm gate length in various gate structures were fabricated to achieve the desired frequency response with a robust, high yield, and repeatable process. The maximum drain current (IDS,max), maximum DC transconductance (gm), pinch-off voltage (Vth), current-gain cutoff frequency (fT), maximum oscillation frequency (fmax), and RF characteristics of the devices in terms of the small-signal gain and RF output power (Pout) at 8 GHz were investigated. The results showed that the output power is increased by 1 dB when the gate structure is changed from field plate to gamma gate. The Vth, gm, fT and fmax values are maximized when the thickness of the passivation layer between the gate foot and the gate head is minimized. It is shown that the IDS,max is decreased and Pout is increased when the gate recess etching process is performed.

AlGaN, Field plate, Gamma gate, GaN, High-electron mobility transistor (HEMT), Recessed gate