Monte Carlo study of kink effect in isolated-gate InAs/AlSb high electron mobility transistors
Journal article, 2010
A semiclassical two-dimensional ensemble Monte Carlo simulator is used to perform a physical analysis of the kink effect in InAs/AlSb high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs). Kink effect, this is, an anomalous increase in the drain current I-D when increasing the drain-to-source voltage V-DS, leads to a reduction in the gain and a rise in the level of noise, thus limiting the utility of these devices for microwave applications. Due to the small band gap of InAs, InAs/AlSb HEMTs are very susceptible to suffer from impact ionization processes, with the subsequent hole transport through the structure, both implicated in the kink effect. The results indicate that, when V-DS is high enough for the onset of impact ionization, holes thus generated tend to pile up in the buffer (at the gate-drain side) due to the valence-band energy barrier between the buffer and the channel. Due to this accumulation of positive charge the channel is further opened and I-D increases, leading to the kink effect in the I-V characteristics and eventually to the device electrical breakdown. The understanding of this phenomenon provides useful information for the development of kink-effect-free InAs/AlSb HEMTs.