High breakdown voltage Schottky rectifier fabricated on bulk n-GaN substrate
ABSTRACT Vertical Schottky rectifiers have been fabricated on a free-standing n-GaN substrate. Circular Pt Schottky contacts with different diameters (50 μm, 150 μm and 300 μm) were prepared on the Ga-face and full backside ohmic contact was prepared on the N-face by using Ti/Al. The electron concentration of the substrate was as low as ∼7 × 1015 cm−3. Without epitaxial layer and edge termination scheme, the reverse breakdown voltages (VB) as high as 630 V and 600 V were achieved for 50 μm and 150 μm diameter rectifiers, respectively. For larger diameter (300 μm) rectifiers, VB dropped to 260 V. The forward turn-on voltage (VF) for the 50 μm diameter rectifiers was 1.2 V at the current density of 100 A/cm2, and the on-state resistance (Ron) was 2.2 mΩ cm2, producing a figure-of-merit (VB)2/Ron of 180 MW cm−2. At 10 V bias, forward currents of 0.5 A and 0.8 A were obtained for 150 μm and 300 μm diameter rectifiers, respectively. The devices exhibited an ultrafast reverse recovery characteristics, with the reverse recovery time shorter than 20 ns.
- SourceAvailable from: T. Paskova[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Vertical Schottky diodes were fabricated on the bulk GaN substrate with decreasing impurity concentration from N-face to Ga-face. An array of circular Pt Schottky contacts and a full backside Ti/Al/Ni/Au ohmic contact were prepared on the Ga-face and the N-face of the n-GaN substrate, respectively. The Schottky diode exhibits a minimum specific on-state resistance of 1.3 mΩ cm2 and a maximum breakdown voltage of 600 V, resulting in a figure-of- merit of 275 MW cm−2. An ultra-low reverse leakage current density of 3.7 × 10−4 A cm−2 at reverse bias of 400 V was observed. Temperature-dependent I–V measurements were also carried out to study the forward and reverse transportation mechanisms.Semiconductor Science and Technology 12/2010; 26(2):022002. · 1.92 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: High-performance AlGaN/GaN Schottky barrier diodes are fabricated on a composite AlGaN/AlN buffer layer with low screw-type and high edge-type dislocation densities. Without edge termination, the devices with 30-μm anode-to-cathode spacing exhibit a high breakdown voltage ( V <sub>B</sub>) of 3489 V, a low leakage current ( I <sub>R</sub>) of less than 0.2 μA at -2000 V, and a low specific on-resistance ( R <sub>on</sub>) of 7.9 mΩ·cm<sup>2</sup>, resulting in a figure of merit ( V <sub>B</sub><sup>2</sup>/ R <sub>on</sub>) as high as 1.54 GW/cm<sup>2</sup>. Their switching characteristics as revealed by the reverse-recovery transient waveform exhibit a short reverse-recovery time of 17 ns.IEEE Electron Device Letters 12/2011; · 2.79 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: An AlGaN/GaN HEMT-compatible lateral field-effect diode has been used for zero-bias microwave detector application. Using the versatile fluorine plasma ion treatment technique, we have been able to realize a diode that exhibits strong nonlinearity near zero bias, thus, eliminating DC supplies in microwave detector circuits. The AlGaN/GaN microwave detectors deliver high sensitivity, wide dynamic range and high temperature operating capability. The maximum zero-bias curvature coefficient (??) measured are 11.6 V <sup>-1</sup> and 3.2 V <sup>-1</sup> at 50??C and 250??C, respectively, yielding a directly-measured sensitivity (??<sub>v</sub>) of 1027 mV/mW at 50??C and 466 mV/mW at 250??C. The peak conjugately-matched sensitivity (??<sub>v,opt</sub>) is projected to be 9030 mV/mW at 2 GHz at 50??C. At room temperature, the wide dynamic range of 53 and 54 dB at 2 and 5 GHz are observed, respectively, both of which are the highest values reported so far.IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters 06/2010; · 1.78 Impact Factor
High breakdown voltage Schottky rectifier fabricated
on bulk n-GaN substrate
Yi Zhoua, Dake Wanga, Claude Ahyia, Chin-Che Tina, John Williamsa, Minseo Parka,*,
N. Mark Williamsb, Andrew Hanserb
aDepartment of Physics, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
bKyma Technologies, Inc., 8829, Midway West Road, Raleigh, NC 27617, USA
Received 14 April 2006; received in revised form 1 August 2006; accepted 11 September 2006
Available online 7 November 2006
The review of this paper was arranged by Prof. E. Calleja
Vertical Schottky rectifiers have been fabricated on a free-standing n-GaN substrate. Circular Pt Schottky contacts with different
diameters (50 lm, 150 lm and 300 lm) were prepared on the Ga-face and full backside ohmic contact was prepared on the N-face
by using Ti/Al. The electron concentration of the substrate was as low as ?7 · 1015cm?3. Without epitaxial layer and edge termination
scheme, the reverse breakdown voltages (VB) as high as 630 V and 600 V were achieved for 50 lm and 150 lm diameter rectifiers, respec-
tively. For larger diameter (300 lm) rectifiers, VBdropped to 260 V. The forward turn-on voltage (VF) for the 50 lm diameter rectifiers
was 1.2 V at the current density of 100 A/cm2, and the on-state resistance (Ron) was 2.2 mX cm2, producing a figure-of-merit (VB)2/Ronof
180 MW cm?2. At 10 V bias, forward currents of 0.5 A and 0.8 A were obtained for 150 lm and 300 lm diameter rectifiers, respectively.
The devices exhibited an ultrafast reverse recovery characteristics, with the reverse recovery time shorter than 20 ns.
? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: GaN; Free-standing substrate; Schottky rectifier; Reverse breakdown voltage; Reverse recovery
Recent developments have allowed Si semiconductor
technology to approach the theoretical limits of this mate-
rial. For high power, high temperature and high frequency
applications, wide bandgap semiconductors, such as GaN
and SiC, are the most attractive alternatives over Si
because of inherent material advantages like larger energy
bandgap, higher critical electric field for breakdown and
higher saturation electron drift velocity . Some key mate-
rial properties and figure-of-merits (FOM) of several semi-
conductors are summarized in Table 1. Many of those
values are referred to reference [2,3]. The Johnson’s figure
of merit (JFOM) takes into account of the critical electric
field and saturation electron drift velocity in defining a
measure of the high frequency capability of the material
. For GaN, the JFOM is more than 1000 times that of
Si and 4 times that of SiC. The Baliga’s figure of merit
(BFOM) is based on dielectric constant, carrier mobility
and critical electric field to define a measure of minimizing
conduction losses in power field effect transistors (FETs)
. For GaN, the BFOM is more than 1000 times that of
Si and almost 3 times that of SiC. The combined figure
of merit (CFOM) is an ultimate measure of high power,
high temperatureand high
the material. Both GaN and SiC have much higher
CFOM than Si or GaAs. It is very obvious that for high
power, high frequency applications, GaN offers far better
0038-1101/$ - see front matter ? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
*Corresponding author. Address: 303 Allison Lab, Auburn University,
Auburn AL 36849 USA. Tel.: +1 334 844 4270; fax: +1 334 844 4613.
E-mail address: email@example.com (M. Park).
Solid-State Electronics 50 (2006) 1744–1747
performance than conventional semiconductors like Si and
GaAs. Therefore, it is expected that GaN-based power
device will eventually outperform the SiC counterpart .
There have been tremendous interests in developing
GaN-based electronics for high power, high frequency
applications [6–10]. Due to its unipolar nature, a Schottky
diode does not exhibit the minority carrier storage effect,
thus faster switching speed and less reverse recovery cur-
rent can be achieved with Schottky diodes compared to
p–n junction diodes. Due to the poor availability of bulk
GaN substrates, GaN-based Schottky rectifiers have been
fabricated using GaN films epitaxially grown on foreign
substrates such as sapphire [11–17]. Zhang et al. has
reported a record VBvalue of 6350 V for Schottky rectifiers
fabricated laterally on GaN epitaxial layer grown on sap-
phire . The figure-of-merit (VB)2/Ronof these devices
are as high as 268 MW cm?2, which is also a record for
GaN Schottky rectifiers. Although excellent reverse break-
down voltages have been achieved, their application is lim-
ited due to some inevitable drawbacks such as limited
current density and poor thermal conductivity of the sap-
phire substrate. These drawbacks are expected to be over-
come by using a free-standing GaN substrate. Few initial
reports of GaN Schottky diodes on free-standing sub-
strates have been published recently [18–23]. Thanks to
the vertical geometry with full backside ohmic contact,
higher forward current conduction has been achieved in
these Schottky rectifiers. Ip et al. has reported a record for-
ward current value of 1.72 A at 6.28 V under pulsed condi-
tions . By interconnecting the output of many rectifiers,
forward current as high as 160 A has been achieved by
using a free-standing GaN substrate . However, due
to the relatively high n-doping of the substrates (?1017),
an epitaxially grown GaN layer or edge termination
scheme is needed in order to achieve a reverse breakdown
voltage higher than 600 V.
In this paper, we report the high reverse breakdown
voltage (>600 V) Schottky rectifiers fabricated directly on
bulk n-GaN substrates with no edge termination scheme.
The devices also exhibited excellent forward current con-
duction and ultrafast reverse recovery characteristics and
look promising in high power, high frequency applications.
The free-standing GaN substrates were provided by
Kyma Technologies, Inc. They were 10 · 10 mm2in dimen-
sion and ?460 lm thick. The capacitance–voltage (C–V)
measurements showed an unintentional n-doping level of
?7 · 1015cm?3. The Ga-side was polished with a typical
dislocation density of ?5 · 106cm?2, which was deter-
mined via etch pit density measurements.
Full area ohmic contacts of Ti (50 nm)/Al (100 nm) were
deposited on N-side by DC magnetron sputtering in Ar
ambient, followed by rapid thermal annealing at 750 ?C
in N2atmosphere for 30 s. Then, the Pt (250 nm) Schottky
contacts with diameters of 50, 150 and 300 lm were depos-
ited on the Ga-side by DC magnetron sputtering, patterned
by liftoff and then annealed in N2atmosphere at 500 ?C for
10 s to improve adhesion. Low-field current–voltage (I–V)
measurements was performed using a Keithley 6517
electrometer with its built-in power supply. High-field
I–V measurements were carried out using a Tektronix
471 curve-tracer. The reverse recovery characteristics were
studied using an Astable circuit by switching the applied
voltage from 9 to ?9 V to the series of the device and a
resistor. The voltage on the serial resistor was analyzed
by Tektronix TDS 744 A oscilloscope to derive the reverse
recovery characteristics of the Schottky rectifiers. All mea-
surements were performed at room temperature.
3. Results and discussion
Fig. 1 shows the room temperature low field I–V charac-
teristics of the 50 lm diameter rectifier. By fitting the curve
into the thermionic emission over a barrier,
Fig. 1. Low field I–V characteristics of the 50 lm diameter rectifier.
Comparison of semiconductor material properties at room temperature
Dielectric constant, e
Breakdown field, Ec(MV/cm)
Electron mobility, l (cm2/V s)
Maximum velocity, Vs(107cm/s)
Thermal conductivity, k (W/cm K)
S=4p2(relative to Si)
c(relative to Si)
aJFOM: Johnson’s figure of merit, a measure of the ultimate high fre-
quency capability of the material.
bBFOM: Baliga’s figure of merit, a measure of minimizing conduction
losses in power FET’s.
cCFOM: Combined figure of merit for high temperature/high power/
high frequency applications.
Y. Zhou et al. / Solid-State Electronics 50 (2006) 1744–1747
JF¼ Js? exp
Js¼ A?? T2? exp
where JFis the forward current density, Jsis the saturation
current density, e is electron charge, V is the applied volt-
age, n is the ideality factor, k is the Boltzman constant, T
is the temperature, A*is the Richardson constant for n-
GaN (assumed to be 26.4 A cm?2K?2), and Ubis the bar-
rier height, the Schottky barrier height was found to be
?1.0 eV and ideality factor to be ?1.13, indicating a rea-
sonably good contact. Defining VFas the bias voltage at
which the forward current density is 100 A/cm2, a typical
VFwas found to be 1.2 V for the 50 lm diameter rectifiers
with the Ronto be 2.2 mX cm2. However, the variation in
Ron was found between 1.2 mX cm2and 3.3 mX cm2
among different diodes.
Fig. 2 shows the room temperature high field I–V char-
acteristics of the 150 lm and 300 lm diameter rectifiers. At
the bias of 10 V, the forward currents reached 0.5 A and
0.8 A for 150 lm and 300 lm diameter rectifiers, corre-
sponding to a current density of 2830 A/cm2and 1130
A/cm2, respectively. There are a number of reports of mesa
and lateral GaN Schottky rectifiers fabricated on hetero-
epitaxial layers on sapphire substrates. Compared to bulk
GaN substrates, the major disadvantage of sapphire sub-
strates is the poor thermal conductivity (0.5 W/cm K)
which restricts the high current conduction. The typically
cited value (1.3 W/cm K) of thermal conductivity for
GaN is actually a lower limit. Recent experimental study
has shown that a higher thermal conductivity of 2.3
W/cm K was measured on a high quality, low dislocation
density bulk GaN substrate . Furthermore, the bulk
GaN substrates allow fabrication of vertical geometry
device with full backside ohmic contact, which will essen-
tially enable much higher current conduction than lateral
rectifiers fabricated on insulating substrates .
Fig. 3 shows the reverse breakdown voltages for bulk
GaN rectifiers of different diameters. The VBwas defined
as the voltage at which the reverse current reached 1 mA.
Our best results have been achieved with small diameter
rectifiers, including VBof 630 V with 50 lm diameter recti-
fiers and 600 V with 150 lm diameter rectifiers. For larger
diameter (300 lm) rectifiers, the good device yield dropped
significantly, with best VBdecreased to 260 V. It is believed
that a deceasing VBwith increasing contact diameter is due
to the higher probability of having defects within the device
active area, especially at the contact periphery, which lead
to premature breakdown [18,19]. Our data comply with
this general trend, however, the data was too scattered to
extract a linear relation as found by other researchers
. The high breakdown voltage of our devices was chiefly
attributed to the low electron concentration of the bulk
GaN substrate since the theoretical model on avalanche
breakdown in GaN predicts that 
where NDis the doping concentration of the bulk. For the
50 lm diameter rectifiers, the figure-of-merit (VB)2/Ronhad
a value of 180 MW cm?2.
Fig. 4 shows the reverse recovery characteristics of the
50 lm diameter rectifier. The reverse recovery time was
found to be less than 20 ns when switching from forward
bias to reverse bias. Similar reverse recovery characteristics
were found with 150 lm and 300 lm diameter devices. The
shorter carrier lifetime and smaller drift region length of
wide bandgap semiconductor devices have been attributed
to the improvement in turnoff energy loss, maximum
reverse recovery current and turnoff time over Si-based
devices . GaN rectifier is expected to have better reverse
recovery performance than 6H-SiC and promising in high
Fig. 2. High field I–V characteristics of the 150 lm and 300 lm diameter
Fig. 3. Reverse breakdown voltages for bulk GaN rectifiers of different
Y. Zhou et al. / Solid-State Electronics 50 (2006) 1744–1747
We have fabricated high VBSchottky rectifiers directly
on bulk n-GaN substrate without edge termination
scheme. The bulk GaN substrates with low n-doping level
greatly simplified the fabrication process and improved the
device performance in turns of forward current conduction
and reverse recovery characteristics compared to devices
fabricated on GaN epitaxial layers on sapphire substrate.
Future work should focus on further reducing backside
ohmic contact resistance and applying edge termination
schemes to further improve VB. The device exhibits prom-
ising characteristics for high power high frequency
The authors would like to thank Dr. O. Wayne Koger at
US Army and Dr. Fred Clarke at the US Army Space and
Missile Defense Command. The project was funded by
Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and managed by US Army
Space and Missile Defense Command under contract num-
 Chow TP, Tyagi R. Wide bandgap compound semiconductors for
superior high-voltage unipolar power devices. IEEE Trans Electron
 Pearton SJ, Ren F, Zhang AP, Lee KP. Fabrication and performance
of GaN electronic devices. Mat Sci Eng R 2000;30:55–212.
 Yoder MN. Wide bandgap semiconductor materials and devices.
IEEE Trans Electron Dev 1996;43:1633–6.
 Johnson EO. Physical limitations on frequency and power parameters
of transistors. IRE Int Convention Record 1965;13:27–34.
 Baliga BJ. Power semiconductor device figure of merit for high-
frequency applications. IEEE Electron Dev Lett 1989;10:455–7.
 Pearton SJ, Zolper JC, Shul RJ, Ren F. GaN: processing, defects, and
devices. J Appl Phys 1999;86:1–78.
 Pearton SJ, Ren F. GaN electronics. Adv Mater 2000;12:1571–80.
 Pearton SJ, Abernathy CR, Overberg ME, Thaler GT, Onstine AH,
Gila BP, et al. New applications advisable for gallium nitride.
Materials Today 2002;5(6):24–31.
 Dyakonova N, Dickens A, Shur MS, Gaska R, Yang JW. Temper-
ature dependence of impact ionization in AlGaN–GaN heterostruc-
ture field effect transistors. Appl Phys Lett 1998;72:2562–4.
 Shur MS. GaN based transistors for high power applications. Solid-
State Electron 1998;42:2131–8.
 Dang GT, Zhang AP, Mshewa MM, Ren F, Chyi JI, Lee CM, et al.
High breakdown voltage Au/Pt/GaN Schottky diodes. J Vac Sci
Technol A 2000;18:1135–8.
 Zhang AP, Dang G, Ren F, Han J, Cho H, Pearton SJ, et al.
Forward turn-on and reverse blocking characteristics of GaN
Schottky and p–i–n rectifiers. Solid-State Electron 2000;44:1157–61.
 Dang GT, Zhang AP, Ren F, Cao XA, Pearton SJ, Cho H, et al.
High voltage GaN Schottky rectifiers. IEEE Trans Electron Dev
 Zhang AP, Dang G, Ren F, Han J, Polyakov AY, Smirnov NB, et al.
Al composition dependence of breakdown voltage in AlxGa1?xN
Schottky rectifiers. Appl Phys Lett 2000;76:1767–9.
 Bandic ZZ, Bridger PM, Piquette EC, McGill TC, Vaudo RP, Phanse
VM, et al. High voltage (450 V) GaN Schottky rectifiers. Appl Phys
 Chyi JI, Lee CM, Chuo CC, Cao XA, Dang GT, Zhang AP, et al.
Temperature dependence of GaN high breakdown voltage diode
rectifiers. Solid-State Electron 2000;44:613–7.
 Zhang AP, Johnson JW, Ren F, Han J, Polyakov AY, Smirnov NB,
et al. Lateral AlxGai1?xN power rectifiers with 9.7 kV reverse
breakdown voltage. Appl Phys Lett 2001;78:823–5.
 Johnson JW, LaRoch JR, Ren F, Gila BP, Overberg ME, Abernathy
CR, et al. Schottky rectifiers fabricated on free-standing GaN
substrates. Solid-State Electron 2001;45:405–10.
 Johnson JW, Zhang AP, Luo WB, Ren F, Pearton SJ, Park SS, et al.
Breakdown voltage and reverse recovery characteristics of free-
standing GaN Schottky rectifiers. IEEE Trans Electron Dev 2002;
 Kang BS, Ren F, Irokawa Y, Baik KW, Pearton SJ, Pan CC, et al.
Temperature dependent characteristics of bulk GaN Schottky recti-
fiers on free-standing GaN substrates. J Vac Sci Technol B
 Zhang AP, Johnson JW, Luo B, Ren F, Pearton SJ, Park SS, et al.
Vertical and lateral GaN rectifiers on free-standing GaN substrates.
Appl Phys Lett 2001;79:1555–7.
 Ip K, Baik KH, Luo B, Ren F, Pearton SJ, Park SS, et al. High
current bulk GaN Schottky rectifiers. Solid-State Electron 2002;46:
 Baik KH, Irokawa Y, Kim J, LaRoche JR, Ren F, Park SS, et al.
160-A bulk GaN Schottky diode array. Appl Phys Lett 2003;83:
 Mion C, Muth JF, Preble EA, Hanser D. Temperature and
dislocation density effects on the thermal conductivity of bulk gallium
nitride. Mater Res Soc Symp Proc 2005;892, 0892-FF29-05.1.
 Johnson JW, Lou B, Ren F, Palmer D, Pearton SJ, Park SS, et al.
1.6A GaN Schottky rectifiers on bulk GaN substrates. Solid-State
 Trivedi M, Shenai K. Performance of evaluation of high-power wide
band-gap semiconductor rectifiers. J Appl Phys 1999;85:6889–97.
Fig. 4. Reverse recovery characteristics of the 50 lm diameter rectifier.
Y. Zhou et al. / Solid-State Electronics 50 (2006) 1744–1747