Design, Fabrication and Characterization of a GaAs/InxGa1-xAs/GaAs Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor

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Virginia Tech

Designs for PnP GaAs/InxGa1-xAs/GaAs heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) are proposed and simulated with the aid of commercial software. Band diagrams, Gummel plots and common emitter characteristics are shown for the specific case of x=1, x=0.7, and x linearly graded from 0.75 to 0.7. Of the three designs, it is found that the linearly graded case has the lowest leakage current and the highest current gain. IV curves for all four possible classes of InAs/GaAs heterojunction (nN, nP, pN, pP) are calculated. A pN heterojunction is fabricated and characterized. In spite of the 7% lattice mismatch between InAs and GaAs, the diode has an ideality factor of 1.26 over three decades in the forward direction. In the reverse direction, the leakage current grows exponentially with the magnitude of the bias, and shows an effective ideality factor of 3.17, in stark disagreement with simulation. IV curves are taken over a temperature range of 105 K to 405 and activation energies are extracted. For benchmarking the device processing and the characterization apparatus, a conventional GaAs homojunction diode was fabricated and characterized, showing current rectification ratio of 109 between plus one volt and minus one volt. Because the PnP material for the optimal HBT design was not available, an Npn GaAs/InAs/InAs HBT structure was processed, characterized, and analyzed. The Npn device fails in both theory and in practice; however, by making a real structure, valuable lessons were learned for crystal growth, mask design, processing, and metal contacts.

III-V compound semiconductor, gallium arsenide, indium arsenide, heterojunction, bipolar, transistor