Design and fabrication of boron-containing III-nitrides based high electron mobility transistors
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GaN-based HEMTs are among the most promising candidates for high-power and high-frequency applications; a niche for millimeter-wave technologies. Nitride materials indeed outperform other mainstream III-V materials (InP or GaAs) because of several properties, including wider bandgaps, high peak and saturation velocities, large breakdown voltages, together with good thermal conductivities. Nonetheless, the state-of-the-art of nitrides is not yet industrially mature to exploit the entire millimeter-wave range. A way to push further performance is to develop innovative designs, notably by exploring novel materials. The purpose of this research was therefore to investigate the use of boron-containing III-nitrides in high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs). The study was first conducted theoretically, through solving the Schrodinger-Poisson equation. Key parameters and relevant equations were derived to implement BGaN materials in our simulations. A GaN/ultrathin-BGaN/GaN heterojunction was showed to provide an electrostatic barrier to electrons and to improve the confinement of the two-dimensional electron gas. GaN back-barrier layers happen to limit leakage in the GaN buffer thanks to two effects: (i) a polarization-induced band discontinuity and (ii) a resistive barrier originating from excellent insulation properties of BGaN. The study was then, experimentally, several growth campaigns were carried out that led to the fabrication of devices. First, we confirmed the key characteristics of BGaN materials by electrical and optical measurements. Second, we demonstrated the evidence of a significant enhancement of performance of standard AlGaN/GaN structures by the introduction of a BGaN layer in the buffer layer. Compared to conventional AlGaN/GaN HEMTs, structures grown with BGaN back-barriers showed a significant improvement of static performances, transport properties, and trapping effects involving a limited current collapse in dynamic regime.