In this work, power and reliability performance of pseudomorphic AIGaAs/InGaAs HEMT's are investigated by 2-D device simulation, spatially-resolved electro-luminescence, light emission spectra analysis, and gate current instabilities. A two-dimensional device simulation was used to exploit the off/on state breakdown origins in the power PHEMT's and to explore the physical mechanisms responsible for light emission in both conditions. A correlation between simulated results and light emission spectra highlights the breakdown origins in PHEMT's.
PHEMT's subjected to off-state breakdown stress and on-state hot carrier stress show changes in device characteristics. While gate leakage current, i.e. a surface leakage component associated with the surface passivation layer is reduced by these stresses, a reduction in drain current, transconductance degradation, and an increase in the impact ionization generated gate current are also observed.
Further improvement in off/on state breakdown voltages and device reliability calls for device structure optimization for lower electric field design, surface passivation treatment for lower surface leakage current, and Schottky barrier enhancement for lower gate current.