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Analysis and Characterization of Normally-Off Gallium Nitride High Electron Mobility Transistors

Shahzaib Anwar1, Sardar Muhammad Gulfam1,*, Bilal Muhammad2, Syed Junaid Nawaz1, Khursheed Aurangzeb3, Mohammad Kaleem1

1 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Islamabad, 45550, Pakistan
2 CTIF Global Capsule, Department of Business Development and Technology, Aarhus University, 7400, Herning, Denmark
3 Computer Engineering Department, College of Computer and Information Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11543, Saudi Arabia

* Corresponding Author: Sardar Muhammad Gulfam. Email:

Computers, Materials & Continua 2021, 69(1), 1021-1037.


High electron mobility transistor (HEMT) based on gallium nitride (GaN) is one of the most promising candidates for the future generation of high frequencies and high-power electronic applications. This research work aims at designing and characterization of enhancement-mode or normally-off GaN HEMT. The impact of variations in gate length, mole concentration, barrier variations and other important design parameters on the performance of normally-off GaN HEMT is thoroughly investigated. An increase in the gate length causes a decrease in the drain current and transconductance, while an increase in drain current and transconductance can be achieved by increasing the concentration of aluminium (Al). For Al mole fractions of 23%, 25%, and 27%, within Al gallium nitride (AlGaN) barrier, the GaN HEMT devices provide a maximum drain current of 347, 408 and 474 mA/μm and a transconductance of 19, 20.2, 21.5 mS/μm, respectively. Whereas, for Al mole fraction of 10% and 15%, within AlGaN buffer, these devices are observed to provide a drain current of 329 and 283 mA/μm, respectively. Furthermore, for a gate length of 2.4, 3.4, and 4.4 μm, the device is observed to exhibit a maximum drain current of 272, 235, and 221 mA/μm and the transconductance of 16.2, 14, and 12.3 mS/μm, respectively. It is established that a maximum drain current of 997 mA/μm can be achieved with an Al concentration of 23%, and the device exhibits a steady drain current with enhanced transconductance. These observations demonstrate tremendous potential for two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) for securing of the normally-off mode operation. A suitable setting of gate length and other design parameters is critical in preserving the normally-off mode operation while also enhancing the critical performance parameters at the same time. Due to the normally-on depletion-mode nature of GaN HEMT, it is usually not considered as suitable for high power levels, frequencies, and temperature. In such settings, a negative bias is required to enter the blocking condition; however, in the before-mentioned normally-off devices, the negative bias can be avoided and the channel can be depleted without applying a negative bias.


Cite This Article

S. Anwar, S. Muhammad Gulfam, B. Muhammad, S. Junaid Nawaz, K. Aurangzeb et al., "Analysis and characterization of normally-off gallium nitride high electron mobility transistors," Computers, Materials & Continua, vol. 69, no.1, pp. 1021–1037, 2021.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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