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Title: Implications of Interfacial Thermal Transport on the Self-Heating of GaN-on-SiC High Electron Mobility Transistors
Gallium nitride (GaN) high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) are key components enabling today’s wireless communication systems. However, overheating concerns hinder today’s commercial GaN HEMTs from reaching their full potential. Therefore, it is necessary to characterize the respective thermally resistive components that comprise the device’s thermal resistance and determine their contributions to the channel temperature rise. In this work, the thermal conductivity of the GaN channel/buffer layer and the effective thermal boundary resistance (TBR) of the GaN/substrate interface of a GaN-on-SiC wafer were measured using a frequency-domain thermoreflectance technique. The results were validated by both experiments and modeling of a transmission line measurement (TLM) structure fabricated on the GaN-on-SiC wafer. The limiting GaN/substrate thermal boundary conductance (TBC) beyond which there is no influence on the device temperature rise was then quantified for different device configurations. It was determined that this limiting TBC is a function of the substrate material, the direction in which heat primarily flows, and the channel temperature. The outcomes of this work provide device engineers with guidance in the design of epitaxial GaN wafers that will help minimize the device’s thermal resistance.  more » « less
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IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
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National Science Foundation
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