GaN-on-diamond: the correlation between interfacial toughness and thermal resistance

Daniel Francis, Akash Systems, San Francisco, CA, USA
Daniel Field, University of Bristol
Caho Yuan, University of Bristol
Roland Simon, Thermap Solutions
Daniel Twitchen, Element Six Technologies
Firooz Faili, Element Six Technologies, Santa Clara, CA
Dong Liu, University of Oxford, University of Bristol
Martin Kuball, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK,

A nanoindentation induced blistering method has been used to extract the GaN/diamond interfacial toughness (adhesion energy) from four types of GaN-on-diamond samples with varying SiNx interlayer thicknesses. The mode I energy release rate (GIC) was quantified and is presented. Additionally, transient thermoreflectance has been used to measure the thermal boundary resistance (TBR) between the GaN and the diamond substrate. It was found that a thin SiNx interlayer resulted in a lower TBR (15 m2 K GW-1) whilst maintaining a reasonable interfacial toughness (1.4±0.5 J m-2). For interlayers of a similar thickness, samples with a high interfacial toughness and high residual stresses in the GaN had a smaller TBR. This indicates that the intrinsic interfacial characteristics that enhanced the interfacial toughness could be beneficial in improving the TBR.

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