Effects of proton irradiation energies on degradation of AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors

Hong Yeol Kim, Jihyun Kim, Lu Liu, Chien Fong Lo, Fan Ren, Stephen J. Pearton

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34 Citations (Scopus)


The authors report the proton energy dependence of the degradation of AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) with GaN cap layers from 5 to 15 MeV at a fixed dose of 5×1015 cm-2. All the samples degraded after proton irradiation. However, higher damage in dc electrical properties was observed at lower proton energies. Saturation currents at VDS 6 V and VGS 0 V reduced by 47 after proton irradiation at 5 MeV energy, but the reduction was less by 25 and 9 at 10 and 15 MeV, respectively. Similar trends were observed in other electrical properties [transconductance (gm) and gate leakage currents]. This energy dependence from 5 to 15 MeV can be explained by the energy-dependent penetration depth of the proton. Protons with higher kinetic energy can penetrate deeper while creating less numbers of defects at shallow depths where the active layers of the HEMTs are located. These results are in good agreement with stopping and range of ions in matter results. The optimization of the AlGaN/GaN HEMT structure will be critical for space-borne applications where high fluxes of protons are encountered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012202
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B:Nanotechnology and Microelectronics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research at Korea University was supported by a Human Resources Development grant from the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (No. 20104010100640) of Korea and by Department of the Navy Grant No. N62909-10-1-7157 issued by Office of Naval Research Global. The work performed at University of Florida is supported by Homeland Defense Threat Reduction Agency (HDTRA) (Don Silversmith) under contract U.S. DOD HDTRA Grant No. 1-11-1-0020.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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