Radiation damage in electronic devices is known to be influenced by physics, design, and materials system. Here, we report the effects of biasing state (such as ON and OFF) and pre-existing damage in GaN high electron mobility transistors exposed to γ radiation. Controlled and accelerated DC biasing was used to prestress the devices, which showed significant degradation in device characteristics compared to pristine devices under ON and OFF states after γ irradiation. The experiment is performed in situ for the ON-state to investigate transient effects during irradiation until the total dose reaches 10 Mrad. It shows that threshold voltage, maximum transconductance, and leakage current initially decrease with dosage but slowly converge to a steady value at higher doses. After 10 Mrad irradiation, the OFF-state device demonstrates larger RON and one order of magnitude increased leakage current compared to the ON-state irradiated device. The micro-Raman study also confirms that the ON-state operation shows more radiation hardness than OFF and prestressed devices. Prestressed devices generate the highest threshold voltage shift from -2.85 to -2.49 V and two orders of magnitude higher leakage current with decreased saturation current after irradiation. These findings indicate that high electric fields during stressing can generate defects by modifying strain distribution, and higher defect density can not only create more charges during irradiation but also accelerate the diffusion process from the ionizing track to the nearest collector and consequently degrade device performances.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Materials Chemistry