Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics

Investigation of structural, optical, and electrical characteristics of an AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistor structure across a 200 mm Si(111) substrate

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An AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) structure is grown on a 200 mm Si(1 1 1) substrate. The AlGaN/AlN/GaN heterostructure atop, which forms the 2D electron gas, is studied via transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning tunneling microscopy, and TEM chemical analysis. To quantify the uniformity of structural, optical, and electrical properties of these AlGaN/GaN HEMT structures, scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy, atomic-force microscopy, x-ray diffraction (ω/2θ scan and reciprocal space mapping) and Hall effect measurements are employed across the center, middle, and edge of the 200 mm wafer. Small thickness (<3%) and Al-content (<3%) variations in (Al)GaN layers across the wafer are recorded whereas a considerable change (28%) in the electron mobility is observed across the wafer that correlates with variations in surface roughness, defectivity, and layer stress. We attribute the higher mobility in the middle of the wafer to lower interface scattering, thanks to lower surface roughness and less edge-type dislocation density. Additionally, argon (Ar) ion implantation is used as a means for planar electrical isolation, and a seven orders of magnitude decrease in leakage current is achieved when an optimum Ar dose of 1013 cm-2 is used. The feasibility of scaling AlGaN/GaN HEMTs on a 200 mm Si(1 1 1) platform is discussed.