AlGaN/GaN HFETs on Silicon for BMDS X-Band Radars

Period of Performance: 03/11/2008 - 03/10/2010

$869K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Nitronex Corp.
2305 Presidential Drive
Durham, NC 27703
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Florida
339 Weil Hall
Gainsville, FL 32611
Institution POC

Abstract

AlGaN/GaN FETs on Si will be developed and optimized for operation at high frequency (X-band and above). The high frequency performance will be improved by modifications to the existing commercialized sub-4GHz GaN FET platform technology that s currently available at Nitronex. The modifications will be made in the epitaxial structure, device layout and gate length for maximum X-band radar performance. In parallel, research will be conducted on surface issues that influence device performance and reliability. Novel MgCaO dielectric will be investigated for suitability for high performance GaN HEMTs at all frequencies. Physical modeling using Monte Carlo simulation will also be performed to gain insight into HEMT performance and reliability. Once the basic process modules are developed, a fabrication run will be undertaken to produce high frequency discrete devices and MMICs that are suitable for use with the X-band radar PA. The GaN device technology that will be developed in this program will satisfy the needs of MDA BMDS systems at X-band and also enable new commercial applications for GaN FETs in the area of weather radar, commercial avionics, satellite communications and high frequency WiMAX wireless communications.