High-temperature Characteristics of npn-type GaN/InGaN Double Heterojunction Bipolar Transistors

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Atsushi Nishikawa, Kazuhide Kumakura, and Toshiki Makimoto
Materials Science Laboratory

@@GaN-based electronic devices are expected to be advantageous for high-power and high-temperature operation compared with conventional GaAs- or Si-based devices because of the wide band gap of GaN. In the previous studies, we have succeeded in obtaining the high current gain of over 2000 [1] and high-power characteristics of 270 kW/cm2 [2] for the npn-type GaN/InGaN double heterojunction bipolar transistors (DHBTs). Our next target is to demonstrate the high-temperature operation of these DHBTs. In this study, we investigated the temperature dependence of the common-emitter current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of npn-type GaN/InGaN DHBTs [3].
@@GaN/InGaN DHBT structures were grown on SiC substrates using low-pressure metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy. The sample structure consisted of a 40-nm-thick n-GaN emitter, a 100-nm-thick p-InGaN base, a 30-nm-thick graded InGaN layer, a 500-nm-thick n-GaN collector, a 1-µm-thick n-GaN sub-collector, and an AlN buffer layer. The In composition of p-InGaN base was 7%. The emitter size was 50~30 µm2.
@@Figure 1 shows the common-emitter I-V characteristics of the GaN/InGaN DHBT measured at 300 . The base current is 50 µA/step. Even though the current gain (=IC/IB) decreases with increasing temperature, the maximum current gain at 300 is still as high as 308. The maximum current density at 300 is calculated to be as high as 5.5 kA/cm2. As shown in Fig. 2, the temperature dependence of the maximum current gain of the GaN/InGaN DHBT follows an exponential dependence with activation energy of 0.13 eV. Since the activation energy of the reduction of the current gain is larger than the expected value assuming the increase in the hole back-injection current from the base into the emitter (0.06 eV), an increase in the carrier concentration of the p-In0.07Ga0.93N base, which activation energy is 0.12 eV, is considered to be attributed to the reduction of the current gain.

[1] T. Makimoto, K. Kumakura, and N. Kobayashi, Appl. Phys. Lett. 83 (2003) 1035.
[2] T. Makimoto, Y. Yamauchi, and K. Kumakura, Appl. Phys. Lett. 83 (2004) 1964.
[3] A. Nishikawa, K. Kumakura, and T. Makimoto, Appl. Phys. Lett. 91 (2007) 133514.

Fig. 1. Common-emitter I-V characteristics measured at 300 .
Fig. 2. Temperature dependence of the maximum current gain of GaN/InGaN DHBT.

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