Heavy ion irradiation effects on GaN/AlGaN high electron mobility transistor failure at off-state

Zahabul Islam, Angela L. Paoletta, Anthony M. Monterrosa, Jennifer D. Schuler, Timothy J. Rupert, Khalid Hattar, Nicholas Glavin, Aman Haque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We investigate the effects of ion irradiation on AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility electron transistors using in-situ transmission electron microscopy. The experiments are performed inside the microscope to visualize the defects, microstructure and interfaces of ion irradiated transistors during operation and failure. Experimental results indicate that heavy ions such as Au4+ can create a significant number of defects such as vacancies, interstitials and dislocations in the device layer. It is hypothesized that these defects act as charge traps in the device layer and the resulting charge accumulation lowers the breakdown voltage. Sequential energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy mapping allows us to track individual chemical elements during the experiment, and the results suggest that the electrical degradation in the device layer may originate from oxygen and nitrogen vacancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113493
JournalMicroelectronics Reliability
StatePublished - Nov 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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