Study of the kink effect in AlInAs/GaInAs/InP composite channel HFETs
A detailed study is presented on AlInAs/InGaAs/InP composite channels. These devices combine the advantages of high mobility at low voltages and high electric field operations thanks to the use of a composite channel formed by a thin InGaAs layer and a doped InP subchannel. Due to the very low gate leakage currents, it has been possible to precisely study the impact ionization contributions as a function of the temperature. Surprisingly, it is not possible from our measurements to correlate the kink effect observed in the devices with the impact ionization phenomenon. Therefore, a detailed study of the AlInAs deep traps, and the deep levels detected in the devices has been performed using DLTS, CTS, drain lag, and low frequency noise measurements. The observation of the kink effect in our HFETs has been clearly connected to an electron trap located in the AlInAs layers. In order to confirm this result, the optical properties of this deep trap have been studied by I-V measurements under optical excitation for HFETs, and by DLOS on bulk AlInAs. Our measurements show that the same defect is observed in AlInAs and in the HFETs and that it is possible to suppress the kink effect by an optical ionization of this electron trap. Finally, our electro-optical study shows the direct correlation between deep traps in the AlInAs barrier layers and the kink effect in these devices.