Mechanism of hot electron electroluminescence in GaN-based transistors

Tommaso Brazzini, Huarui Sun, Francesco Sarti, James W Pomeroy, Chris J Hodges, Massimo Gurioli, Anna Vinattieri, Michael Uren, Martin H H Kuball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
298 Downloads (Pure)


The nature of hot electron electroluminescence (EL) in AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors is studied and attributed to Bremsstrahlung. The spectral distribution has been corrected, for the first time, for interference effects due to the multilayered device structure, and this was shown to be crucial for the correct interpretation of the data, avoiding artefacts in the spectrum and misinterpretation of the results. An analytical expression for the spectral distribution of emitted light is derived assuming Bremsstrahlung as the only origin and compared to the simplified exponential model for the high energy tail commonly used for electron temperature extraction: the electron temperature obtained results about 20% lower compared to the approximated exponential model. Comparison of EL intensity for devices from different wafers illustrated the dependence of EL intensity on the material quality. The polarization of electroluminescence also confirms Bremsstrahlung as the dominant origin of the light emitted, ruling out other possible main
Original languageEnglish
Article number435101
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number43
Early online date29 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2016

Structured keywords

  • CDTR


  • electroluminescence
  • hot electrons
  • high electron mobility transistor
  • AlGaN/GaN
  • electron temperature
  • Bremsstrahlung


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