Reliability analysis of permanent degradations on algan/gan hemts

Denis Marcon, Gaudenzio Meneghesso, Tian-Li Wu, Steve Stoffels, Matteo Meneghini, Enrico Zanoni, Stefaan Decoutere

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In this paper, we review and add additional data and understandings on our findings on the two most common failure modes of GaN-based HEMTs: 1) permanent gate leakage current increase and 2) output current drop. We suggested that they have different origins and one is not necessarily correlated to the other. Yet, they can both concur to the device degradation. First, we demonstrate that the phenomenon of gate leakage current increase has a voltage-accelerated degradation kinetic. Therefore, the identification of the critical voltage for leakage increase is meaningless. We demonstrate that the time-to-breakdown ${t}\rm BD data are Weibull distributed and we prove that they represent intrinsic failures. According to our data, this phenomenon is not related to the inverse piezoelectric effect. Finally, a new degradation model for the gate leakage current increase based on the percolation path theory is proposed. Second, we show that the permanent output current drop is a consequence of the relaxation of AlGaN layer. This occurs by means of formation of crystallographic defects as described by the inverse piezoelectric degradation model. Finally, we show an excellent stability of devices with reduced Al content in the AlGaN barrier, proving the crucial role of strain in the reliability of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6570507
Pages (from-to)3132-3141
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number10
StatePublished - 31 Jul 2013


  • Aluminum-gallium nitride
  • Gallium nitride
  • Hemts
  • Reliability
  • Transistors

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    Marcon, D., Meneghesso, G., Wu, T-L., Stoffels, S., Meneghini, M., Zanoni, E., & Decoutere, S. (2013). Reliability analysis of permanent degradations on algan/gan hemts. IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, 60(10), 3132-3141. [6570507].