Impact of Substrate Imperfections on Epitaxial Layer Quality

Michael Wojtowicz, Randy Sandhu, Ben Heying, and Thomas Block

Northrop Grumman Space Technology

One Space Park, R6/2134, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

(310)814-1713 /

Ben Poust and Mark Goorsky

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095

(310)206-0267 /




We examined the role of substrate quality on the epitaxial layer structure and performance of pseudomorphic InGaAs/AlGaAs/GaAs and AlGaN/GaN/SiC high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs). High resolution x-ray diffraction, high resolution x-ray topography, and transmission electron microscopy proved essential. For the GaAs-based pseudomorphic HEMT (pHEMT), the epitaxial layer misfit dislocation density is always lower for a given channel composition and thickness when grown on substrates with lower threading dislocation densities. Furthermore, device electrical performance can be improved through increasing the channel thickness to a greater degree when grown on lower threading dislocation substrates.  For the GaN-based HEMTs, the SiC substrates show scratches, micropipes, and various crystal distortions that impact the quality of the epitaxial material. High resolution x-ray topographs of processed HEMT materials enable evaluation of the impact of both micropipes and crystal distortion on the device performance.



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