The stoichiometry of low-pressure chemical vapor deposition SiNx surface passivation is shown to change vertical conductivity at the top of the epitaxial stack in GaN-on-Si power high-electron mobility transistors (HEMTs). This changes the charge stored in the carbon-doped GaN layer during high-voltage operation, and allows direct control of buffer-related current collapse in HEMTs. Substrate bias ramps are used to identify the changes in C:GaN charge trapping and vertical leakage. Channel length dependence indicates a lateral conductivity in the C:GaN with a localized increase in vertical conductivity under the ohmic contacts. An optimum SiNx recipe is identified which simultaneously delivers low current collapse and low drain leakage.
- buffer trapping
- high-electron mobility transistor (HEMT)