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GaN-Based High Temperature and Radiation-Hard Electronics for Harsh Environments

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We develop novel GaN-based high temperature and radiation-hard electronics to realize data acquisition electronics and transmitters suitable for operations in harsh planetary environments. In this paper, we discuss our research on AlGaN/GaN metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) transistors that are targeted for 500 °C operation and >2 Mrad radiation hardness. For the target device performance, we develop Schottky-free AlGaN/GaN MOS transistors, where a gate electrode is processed in a MOS layout using an Al2O3 gate dielectric layer. The AlGaN/GaN MOS transistors fabricated with the wide-bandgap gate oxide layer enable Schottky-free gate electrodes, resulting in a much reduced gate leakage current and an improved sub-threshold current than the current AlGaN/GaN field effect transistors. In this study, characterization of our AlGaN/GaN MOS transistors is carried out over the temperature range of 25 °C to 500 °C. The I dsV gs and I dsV ds curves measured as a function of temperature show an excellent pinch-off behavior up to 450 °C. Off-state degradation is not observed up to 400 °C, but it becomes measurable at 450 °C. The off-state current is increased at 500 °C due to the gate leakage current, and the AlGaN/GaN MOS HEMT does not get pinched-off completely. Radiation hardness testing of the AlGaN/GaN MOS transistors is performed using a 50 MeV 60Co gamma source to explore effects of TID (total ion dose). Excellent I dsV gs and I dsV ds characteristics are measured even after exposures to a TID of 2 Mrad. A slight decrease of saturation current (ΔI dss ∼3 mA/mm) is observed due to the 2 Mrad irradiation.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters (NNL) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating nanoscale research activities in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. NNL provides the means for scientists, engineers, medical experts and technocrats to publish original short research articles as communications/letters of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of the physical sciences, engineering and medicine.
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