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Tutorial EP04—Reliability of Semiconductor Optical and Electron Devices and Materials

Apr 2, 2018
08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
PCC North, 200 Level, Room 221 B

8:00 am – 9:30 am

Part I: William Roesch
Practical Reliability for GaAs RF Products in the Real World
This tutorial will examine the technology trends and reliability challenges for III-V devices. A bit of history is supplied, starting with references to Moore’s Law and the Johnson Figure of Merit, which were both introduced in 1965. We will fast forward to the 1980s and pick up on similarities and differences between silicon and the III-V compound semiconductor-based transistors with emphasis on the trends in materials and in reliability over the last 30 years. Then the focus will shift to the emerging reliability challenges for Compound Semiconductors. We will look at learning what is most important by root cause failure analyses from artificially caused and naturally caused degradation. The unique GaAs mechanisms and their acceleration factors will round out the trend discussion. In order to address emerging challenges, we will shift from wearout to defects and break down bygone separations between quality and reliability. Several types of defects and defect detection methods will be presented to show how III-V electronic designers have learned to shift focus to what’s most important to customers regarding reliability.

10:00 am – 10:30 am   BREAK

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Part II: Farid Medjdoub
Reliability Oriented Design of GaN Transistor
GaN-based devices for both high efficiency switching and RF applications in modern power electronics are increasingly moving into the focus of worldwide research and development activities. Due to their unique material properties, GaN power devices are distinguished by featuring high breakdown voltages, high electron mobility, low on-state resistances and fast switching properties at the same time. These devices show promise for both existing as well as emerging applications. On the other hand, to fully exploit the outstanding GaN-based semiconductor properties, the material itself has to be stressed significantly during standard device operation, which leads to reliability issues such as DC to RF dispersion and dynamic on-state resistance degradation. Thus material quality, the specific epitaxial design as well as the device topology will directly influence device performance, reliability and mode of degradation. GaN-based device concepts to address the specific needs of each of these areas are under intensive development by groups around the world.

The first part of the tutorial will describe why GaN is an attractive material for RF and power electronic applications. Then, this tutorial will provide an overview of the material properties, device structures and fabrication processing issues surrounding this emerging device technology. It will especially discuss technological ways toward engineering both high performance together with reliability into these devices.

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm BREAK

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Part III: Shigetaka Tomiya
Material Issues of III-Nitride Optical Devices and Materials
This part discusses material issues of III-nitride optical devices from the viewpoint of structural defects and their characterizations, and also covers degradation issues of III-nitride laser diodes (LDs). Considerable efforts have been expended on the development of III-nitride LDs for a couple of decades. As a result, blue-violet LDs have already realized and are now mass-market products. Unlike conventional zinc-blende based III-V materials, a variety of structural defects have occurred in wurtzite-based III-nitride materials. To develop high performance and high reliable devices, it is important to understand the nature of the structural defects. This tutorial first focuses on recent progress of structural characterization techniques followed by structural defects, which appear in the LD epitaxial layers, then reviews on degradation mechanisms of III-nitride LDs.

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm BREAK

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Part IV: Michael Salmon
Failure Analysis of Optical Devices
The last tutorial will first outline the general failure analysis techniques for optical devices that are readily available to engineers in an industrial lab setting. The fundamentals of each technique will be presented along with the types of information each can provide. Once the techniques have been reviewed, methodologies for their successful application in an effort to determine the underlying root cause of specific failures will be addressed through several case studies. The main focus of these examples will be heavily rooted in advanced sample preparation techniques primarily utilizing Focused Ion Beam (FIB), with analysis by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM).  Additionally, examples of defect localization and characterization using Electron Beam Induced Current (EBIC) and SEM Cathodoluminescence (SEM-CL) will be presented.


  • William Roesch, Qorvo, Inc.
  • Farid Medjdoub, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  • Shigetaka Tomiya, Sony Corporation
  • Michael Salmon, Evans Analytical Group