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Thermal Investigation of Three-Dimensional GaN-on-SiC High Electron Mobility Transistors

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Technical Report,08 Apr 2015,10 Apr 2017

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The University of Arizona Tucson United States

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Wide-bandgap materials e.g., GaN, SiC, and ZnO have been widely used in many DoD applications, including integrated radio frequency RF amplifiers and power electronics. However, inherent inefficiencies in energy conversion and the continual push for underlying device performance have resulted in rapidly escalating heat generation rates in the near-junction region of these devices. One barrier for improving the thermal design of these devices is the multi-domain simulation problem of coupling electron transport and carrier statistics, phonon transport and populations, and ultimately full-wave electromagnetic solvers. A predictive simulation paradigm that follows energy transport at the fundamental carrier level to useful signal output and thermal dissipation is significantly beyond the state of the art for any single simulation capability. In this project, electron and phonon Monte Carlo simulations nanometer to micrometer scale for near-junction regions and conventional Fourier-law-based heat transfer simulations macroscopic devices are combined to yield reliable thermal predictions for two-dimensional and three-dimensional GaN-on-SiC transistors. This multi-length-scale simulation strategy will introduce unprecedented insight into the heat generation and transport within a transistor and further relate the discovery to the thermal management of the whole device. This project provides important guidance for thermal management solutions, such as adding high-thermal-conductivity layers near the device junctions, engineering near-junction interfacial thermal resistances, and using micro-channel coolers. The success of this project can also significantly benefit many existing military and civil applications to improve the lifetime and reliability of three-dimensional devices.

Subject Categories:

  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment
  • Thermodynamics

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