Monolithic Investigation of Hydrogen Plasma-Treated and Etched p-GaN Gate HEMTs Under OFF-State Drain Stress

Fan Li, Ye Liang, Yuanlei Zhang, Yixiao Huang, Ang Li, Yuhao Zhu, Chenruiyuan Yu, Yubo Wang, Shiqiang Wu, Guohao Yu, Yi Pei, Baoshun Zhang, Wen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In power conversion systems, the power devices often need to block high voltage levels during the OFF-state. The impact of such voltage stress can cause instability for the device. This article presents the investigation of the pulsed <italic>I</italic>&#x2013;<italic>V</italic> (PIV) OFF-state drain stress test for the etch-free hydrogen plasma-treated p-GaN gate HEMT (H-treated devices). To quantitatively demonstrate the effect of the hydrogen plasma treatment process, the device with conventional p-GaN etching at the access region (etched devices) is monolithically fabricated. Remarkably, the hydrogen treatment could eliminate surface damage from the conventional etching process and provide passivation at the access region. The direct comparison of devices&#x2019; threshold voltage (<italic>V</italic> <inline-formula> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$_{\text{TH}}$</tex-math> </inline-formula>) shift and dynamic ON-resistance (<italic>R</italic> <inline-formula> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$_{\text{on}}$</tex-math> </inline-formula>) is obtained. Under a 200-V OFF-state drain stress, the H-treated device has a low <italic>V</italic> <inline-formula> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$_{\text{TH}}$</tex-math> </inline-formula> shift of 0.18 V, and the dynamic <italic>R</italic> <inline-formula> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$_{\text{on}}$</tex-math> </inline-formula> could also be efficiently suppressed by 24%. Meanwhile, the H-treated device has only a marginal 5% current reduction compared with 48% for the etched device at 200-V stress. An exploration of the origin of the superior device performances is carried out with the TCAD simulation, activation energy derivation, and capacitance measurement. For the H-treated device, the surface state improvement at the region and the reduction of the peak electric field at the gate edge become major reasons for the improved performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number6
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamic ON-resistance
  • Electric fields
  • GaN HEMT
  • HEMTs
  • Hydrogen
  • hydrogen plasma treatment
  • Logic gates
  • OFF-state drain stress
  • Stress
  • Switches
  • threshold voltage


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