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  1. The demand for high power and high-frequency radio frequency (RF) power amplifiers makes AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) an attractive option due to their large critical field, high saturation velocity, and reduced device footprint as compared to Si-based counterparts. However, due to the high operating power densities, intense device self-heating occurs, which degrades the electrical performance and compromises the device’s reliability. The self-heating behavior of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs is known to be not solely a function of the dissipated power but is highly bias-dependent. As the operation of RF power amplifiers involves alteration of the device operation from fully-open to pinched-off channel conditions, it is critical to experimentally map the full channel temperature profile as a function of bias conditions. However, such measurement is difficult using optical thermography techniques due to the lack of optical access underneath the gate electrode, where the peak temperature is expected to occur.

    To address this challenge, an AlGaN/GaN HEMT employing a transparent gate made of indium tin oxide (ITO) was fabricated, which enables full channel temperature mapping using Raman spectroscopy. It was found that the maximum channel temperature rise under a partially pinched-off condition is more than ∼93% higher than that for an open channel condition, although both conditions would lead to an identical power dissipation level. The channel peak temperature probed in an ITO-gated device (underneath the gate) is ∼33% higher than the highest channel temperature that can be measured for a standard metal-gated AlGaN/GaN HEMT (i.e., next to the metal gate structure) operating under an identical bias condition. This indicates that one may significantly underestimate the device’s thermal resistance when solely relying on performing thermal characterization on the optically accessible region of a standard AlGaN/GaN HEMT. The outcomes of this study are important in terms of conducting a more accurate lifetime prediction of the device lifetime and designing thermal management solutions.

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  2. Featuring broadband operation and high efficiency, gallium nitride (GaN)-based radio frequency (RF) power amplifiers are key components to realize the next generation mobile network. However, to fully implement GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMT) for such applications, it is necessary to overcome thermal reliability concerns stemming from localized extreme temperature gradients that form under high voltage and power operation. In this work, we developed a deep-ultraviolet thermoreflectance thermal imaging capability, which can potentially offer the highest spatial resolution among diffraction-limited far-field optical thermography techniques. Experiments were performed to compare device channel temperatures obtained from near-ultraviolet and deep-ultraviolet wavelength illumination sources for the proof of concept of the new characterization method. Deep-ultraviolet thermoreflectance imaging will facilitate the study of device self-heating within transistors based on GaN and emerging ultra-wide bandgap semiconductors (e.g., β-Ga2O3, AlxGa1-xN, and diamond) subjected to simultaneous extreme electric field and heat flux conditions. 
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  3. Ultra-wide band gap semiconductor devices based on β-phase gallium oxide (Ga2O3) offer the potential to achieve higher switching performance and efficiency and lower manufacturing cost than that of today’s wide band gap power electronics. However, the most critical challenge to the commercialization of Ga2O3 electronics is overheating, which impacts the device performance and reliability. We fabricated a Ga2O3/4H–SiC composite wafer using a fusion-bonding method. A low-temperature (≤600 °C) epitaxy and device processing scheme was developed to fabricate MOSFETs on the composite wafer. The low-temperature-grown epitaxial Ga2O3 devices deliver high thermal performance (56% reduction in channel temperature) and a power figure of merit of (∼300 MW/cm2), which is the highest among heterogeneously integrated Ga2O3 devices reported to date. Simulations calibrated based on thermal characterization results of the Ga2O3-on-SiC MOSFET reveal that a Ga2O3/diamond composite wafer with a reduced Ga2O3 thickness (∼1 μm) and a thinner bonding interlayer (<10 nm) can reduce the device thermal impedance to a level lower than that of today’s GaN-on-SiC power switches. 
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  4. Abstract As technology becomes increasingly miniaturized, thermal management becomes challenging to keep devices away from overheating due to extremely localized heat dissipation. Two-phase cooling or flow boiling in microspaces utilizes the highly efficient thermal energy transport of phase change from liquid to vapor. However, the excessive consumption of liquid-phase by highly localized heat source causes the two-phase flow maldistribution, leading to a significantly reduced heat transfer coefficient, high-pressure loss, and limited flow rate. In this study, flow boiling in a two-dimensional (2D) microgap heat sink with a hydrophilic coating is investigated with bubble morphology, heat transfer, and pressure drop for conventional (nonhydrophilic) and hydrophilic heat sinks. The experiments are carried out on a stainless steel (SS) plate, having a microgap depth of 170 μm using de-ionized (DI) water at room temperature. Two different hydrophilic surfaces (partial and full channel shape) are fabricated on the heated surface to compare the thermal performance with the conventional surface. Vapor films and slugs are flushed quickly on the hydrophilic surfaces, resulting in heat transfer enhancement on the hydrophilic heat sink compared to the conventional heat sink. The channel hydrophilic heat sink shows better cooling performance and pressure stability as it provides a smooth route for the incoming water to cool the hot spot. Moreover, the artificial neural network (ANN) prediction of heat transfer coefficient shows a good agreement with the experimental results as data fit within ±5% average error. 
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