A Comparative Study of a Dielectric-Defined Process on AlGaAs/InGaAs/GaAs PHEMTs

  • Received : 20041000
  • Published : 2005.06.30


We report on the fabrication of an AlGaAs/InGaAs/GaAs pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistor (PHEMT) using a dielectric-defined process. This process was utilized to fabricate $0.12\;{\mu}m\;{\times}\;100 {\mu}m$ T-gate PHEMTs. A two-step etch process was performed to define the gate footprint in the $SiN_x$. The $SiN_x$ was etched either by dry etching alone or using a combination of wet and dry etching. The gate recessing was done in three steps: a wet etching for removal of the damaged surface layer, a dry etching for the narrow recess, and wet etching. A structure for the top of the T-gate consisting of a wide head part and a narrow lower layer part has been employed, taking advantage of the large cross-sectional area of the gate and its mechanically stable structure. From s-parameter data of up to 50 GHz, an extrapolated cut-off frequency of as high as 104 GHz was obtained. When comparing sample C (combination of wet and dry etching for the $SiN_x$) with sample A (dry etching for the $SiN_x$), we observed an 62.5% increase of the cut-off frequency. This is believed to be due to considerable decreases of the gate-source and gate-drain capacitances. This improvement in RF performance can be understood in terms of the decrease in parasitic capacitances, which is due to the use of the dielectric and the gate recess etching method.


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