Investigation of self-heating effects in submicrometer GaN/AlGaN HEMTs using an electrothermal Monte Carlo method

Toufik Sadi, Robert W. Kelsall, Neil J. Pilgrim

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An electrothermal Monte Carlo (MC) method is applied in this paper to investigate electron transport in submicrometer wurtzite GaN/AlGaN high-electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) grown on various substrate materials including SiC, Si, GaN, and sapphire. The simulation method is an iterative technique that alternately runs an MC electronic simulation and solves the heat diffusion equation using an analytical thermal resistance matrix method. Results demonstrate how the extent of the thermal droop in the I-d-V-ds characteristics and the device peak temperature depend upon both the biasing conditions and the substrate material type. Polarization effects are considered in the simulations, as they greatly influence electron transport in GaN/AlGaN HEMTs by creating a highly concentrated two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) at the GaN/AlGaN interface. It is shown that a higher 2DEG density provides the devices with a better current handling capability but also increases the importance of the thermal effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2892-2900
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • electrothermal simulations
  • III-N
  • Monte Carlo (MC)
  • wurtzite GaN/AlGaN high-electron mobility transistors
  • (HEMTs)
  • field-effect transistors
  • electron-transport
  • GAN
  • channel
  • mobility
  • simulation
  • phonon
  • model

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