We investigated five different Ohmic contact metallizations consisting of X/Al/Y/Au where X = Ti, Nb/Ti, Zr, or V, and Y = Ni, Mo, or V (Table 1) as function of alloying conditions. The MOCVD-grown structure (Figure 1) is on sapphire substrates and consists of a 1.6 µm AlN buffer layer, a 4.15 µm thick Al0.3Ga0.7N channel layer and a 50 nm thick Al0.45Ga0.55N barrier with Rsheet of 3500 Ω/□ and ns= 5x1012/cm2. Representative current-voltage plots measured on circular TLM structures are shown in Figure 2. Ohmic contacts with average specific contact resistance (pc) of 7x10-5 Ω-cm2 (3.3x10-5 Ω-cm2) extracted from device (TLM) data were achieved with a conventional Ti/Al/Ni/Au metal stack and a multi-temperature stepped-anneal process. Structural characterization was carried out on the Ti/Al/Ni/Au contacts, to compare Ohmic and Schottky conditions. TEM was used to characterize the interaction between the contact metals and the AlGaN, revealing an interface consisting primarily of Ti-Au with limited indication of spiking behavior. Using the optimized Ohmic contact process, HEMTs with 10 µm source-to-drain spacing and 2 µm gate lengths were fabricated; current densities of 78 mA/mm were achieved, and parasitic loading of RON was reduced.
This work was supported by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program at Sandia. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.