In this paper, we present the fabrication and Direct Current/high voltage characterizations of AlN-based thin and thick channel AlGaN/GaN heterostructures that are regrown by molecular beam epitaxy on AlN/sapphire. A very high lateral breakdown voltage above 10 kV was observed on the thin channel structure for large contact distances. Also, the buffer assessment revealed a remarkable breakdown field of 5 MV/cm for short contact distances, which is far beyond the theoretical limit of the GaN-based material system. The potential interest of the thin channel configuration in AlN-based high electron mobility transistors is confirmed by the much lower breakdown field that is obtained on the thick channel structure. Furthermore, fabricated transistors are fully functional on both structures with low leakage current, low on-resistance, and reduced temperature dependence as measured up to 300 °C. This is attributed to the ultra-wide bandgap AlN buffer, which is extremely promising for high power, high temperature future applications.
Keywords: GaN; high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT); ultra-wide band gap.