Surface Passivation of Gallium Nitride (GaN) Based Devices and Circuits to Reduce Current Slump

Period of Performance: 01/31/2003 - 07/31/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

SVT Assoc., Inc.
7620 Executive Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Principal Investigator


High power AlGa-nitride RF electronics are of great interest to various DoD applications. This proposal will utilize an advanced plasma deposition process to passivate surface traps on the devices, to dramatically reduce surface-related transient effects and improve the device performance. We will use this technique to produce high quality passivation layers, such that charge traps in the layer can be greatly reduced which have been found to be a source of the current slump in GaAs-based devices. During the Phase I of the project this deposition method will be investigated for the nitride material. HEMT devices with passivation layer will be fabricated and compared with our standard samples which has shown state-of-the technology high frequency performance. This process will be further optimized in the follow-on Phase II leading to significant improvement in the power capability of the nitride devices. The proposed passivation technique is expected to be scalable for commercial production and can be extended to a host of other device structures. Signifcant improvement in device performance for applications in high power, high frequency military and commercial systems.