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Optical investigation of degradation mechanisms in AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors: generation of non-radiative recombination centers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Chris J Hodges
  • Nicole Killat
  • S. W. Kaun
  • M. H. Wong
  • F. Gao
  • T. Palacios
  • U. K. Mishra
  • J. S. Speck
  • D. Wolverson
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112106
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics Letters
StatePublished - 13 Mar 2012


Degradation mechanisms in AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) have been studied under pinch-off conditions. Sites of localized emission of electroluminescence (EL) in the form of hotspots, known to be related to gate leakage currents, are shown to be the result of the generation of non-radiative recombination centers in the AlGaN device layer during device stress. EL from the hotspot site contains both hot-carrier emission from the acceleration of charge carriers in the device channel, and defect-related transitions. Gate leakage through the generated centers is the most likely mechanism for the observation of EL hotspots.

Additional information

Publisher: AIP Rose publication type: Article Sponsorship: The University of Bristol gratefully acknowledges funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and the Office of Naval Research and ONR Global under N00014-08-1-1091 through the DRIFT program (monitored by Dr. Paul Maki). Terms of use: Copyright 2012 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.

Research areas

  • AlGaN/GaN HEMTs, photoluminescence, electroluminescence, hotspots

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