The Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH) has achieved a breakthrough with transistors based on gallium oxide (beta-Ga2O3). The newly developed beta-Ga2O3-MOSFETs (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor) provide a high breakdown voltage combined with high current conductivity.
Gallium oxide chip with transistor structures and for measurement purposes, processed at FBH via projection lithography. Credit: FBH/schurian.com
With a breakdown voltage of 1.8 kilovolts and a record power figure of merit of 155 megawatts per square centimeter, they achieve performance figures close to the theoretical material limit of gallium oxide.
At the same time, the breakdown field strengths achieved are significantly higher than those of established wide bandgap semiconductors such as silicon carbide or gallium nitride.
In order to achieve these improvements, the FBH team tackled the layer structure and gate topology. The basis was provided by substrates from the Leibniz Institute for Crystal Growth with an optimized epitaxial layer structure. As a result, the defect density could be reduced and electrical properties improved. This leads to lower on-state resistances.
The gate is the central switching point of field effect transistors, controlled by the gate-source voltage. Its topology has been further optimized, allowing to reduce high field strengths at the gate edge. This, in turn, leads to higher breakdown voltages.
The detailed results were published in IEEE Electron Device Letters.
Tetzner, K., Treidel, E. B., Hilt, O., Popp, A., Anooz, S. B., Wagner, G., … Wurfl, J. (2019). “Lateral 1.8 kV β-Ga2O3 MOSFET with 155 MW/cm2 power figure-of-merit.” IEEE Electron Device Letters, 1–1. doi: 10.1109/led.2019.2930189