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Gold free contacts to Gallium Nitride transistors

Marcin Hajlasz

Materials innovation institute (M2i) project M62.3.11449

Gallium Nitride (GaN) is rapidly emerging as a new material for semiconductor components and circuits. The key factor limiting its application in electronics is the high substrate price. A recent breakthrough, epitaxial-GaN-on-silicion, may solve this problem and make GaN a suitable semiconductor for mass production. In particular, the AlGaN/GaN high-electron mobility transistor (HEMT) will be investigated.

To facilitate production of this device in silicon factories, the device fabrication process must be significantly adjusted. One key success factor will be the replacement of gold metallization with a silicon-compatible metal. In this project we combine the study of novel gold-free low-ohmic contacts to GaN, with high industrial relevance, with a more in-depth study of the contact behavior, both in the chemical-thermodynamical behavior and its electrical performance. The intensive work would be also focused on selection of Schottky contact metal. It would include exstensive electrical characterization and modeling. The data come from experimental devices produced by NXP. The analysis uses a combination of high-resolution imaging, physical and chemical information, and electrical measurements.

Research is being conducted both at NXP Research (Eindhoven, NL) and at the University of Twente (Enschede, NL)