Orientation effect on AlGaN/GaN heterojunction field-effect transistors (HFETs) has been experimentally and theoretically examined in detail. The drain-currents of the fabricated AlGaN/GaN HFETs with various gate directions do not depend on the gate orientation, whereas those of GaAs-based HFETs strongly depend on the gate direction due to the piezoelectric charges induced around the gate electrode. The piezoelectric charges induced in the vicinity of the gate electrode are simulated by using a finite-element method. This simulation solves the piezoelectric equations with piezoelectric and elastic stiffness constants, assuming that stress is applied to the gate edges in the HFET. The detailed simulation reveals that the piezoelectric charge distribution does not depend on the gate direction, although a large amount of piezoelectric charges is induced in the vicinity of the gate edges, which is consistent with the experimental result. Moreover, it is mathematically clarified that these experimental and simulated results are due to the symmetry characteristic of the piezoelectric and elastic stiffness constants for nitride semiconductor materials.
- Field-effect transistor (FET)
- Finite-element method