Gallium Nitride-based Electronic and Optoelectronic devices

Open Access
Wang, Li
Graduate Program:
Engineering Science and Mechanics
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
October 31, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Jian Xu, Dissertation Advisor
  • Jian Xu, Committee Chair
  • Michael T Lanagan, Committee Member
  • Samia A Suliman, Committee Member
  • Jerzy Ruzyllo, Committee Member
  • gallium nitride
  • schottky barrier diodes
  • high electron mobility transistors
  • light emitting diodes
For the past decade, Gallium nitride (GaN) material system has earned a significant place in modern power electronic and optoelectronic devices due to its outstanding electric and optical properties. GaN-based device technologies have improved substantially, and are still investigated intensely for advanced performance. The GaN-based devices studied in this dissertation involve Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) and high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) on the electronic side and light emitting diodes (LEDs) on the optoelectronic side. In the SBDs part, GaN SBDs with high voltage blocking capability and low on-state voltage on inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etched commercial LED epi-wafers are studied. Their applications in alternating current (AC) LEDs are demonstrated. It is revealed that the potassium hydroxide (KOH) pretreatment with optimized concentration could eliminate the leakage current due to the reduction of the ICP induced surface defects. Moreover, the numerical values of the surface defect density are extracted by analyzing the leakage current mechanism. In the HEMTs part, the transfer saturation feature of GaN-based HEMTs is investigated firstly. It is observed that the drain current in HEMTs with short gate length becomes saturation as gate bias approaches zero. The theoretical analysis based on a simple series resistance model reveals this saturation feature results from the fact that the total source-drain resistance is independent on gate bias in a short gate length HMET. This conclusion is further verified by device simulation study. Secondly, novel GaN double-gate (DG) HEMTs featuring enhanced back gate-control of the two dimensional electron gas (2DEG) in AlGaN/GaN heterostructures is designed and modeled. The results indicate that the DG GaN-HEMTs can provide a higher maixmum transconductance gain and better immunity of the short channel effects than traditional single-gate HEMTs. At last, the temperature-dependent electrical characteristics of GaN-based HEMTs from room temperature down to 50K are studied. It is observed that the drain saturation current and transconductance increase with the decrease of the temperature. In the LEDs part, quantum dots (QDs) coupled non-resonant microcavity light emitting diodes (LEDs) with micro-holes is designed and demonstrated to enhance non-radiative energy transfer between InGaN/GaN quantum wells (QWs) and QDs for the first time by tailoring the radiative relaxation lifetime of excitations in QWs. The blue emission from the InGaN/GaN QWs is detuned from the resonant modes of the microcavity to extend the radiative recombination lifetime in QWs. The direct contact of QDs and the QWs active layer is achieved by depositing QDs into the micro-holes on the LEDs. This non-resonant microcavity structure leads to a 3.2 times enhancement of the effective quantum efficiency of QDs in microcavity LEDs than the LEDs without microcavity structure.