Technology for Building Power IC in Gallium Nitride

Group-III/nitride semiconductors have exhibited strong capability and flexibility in forming high-quality and high-uniformity lateral heterojunctions on a variety of highly scalable foreign substrates (Si and SiC) by using hetero-epitaxy techniques such as MOCVD. The dominant GaN power devices, i.e., high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs), are planar in nature, with the inherent benefit of high-density integration that can be utilized to increase functionality, optimize performance and improve reliability. GaN power ICs are expected to help unlock the full potential of GaN power electronics, especially in promoting high-frequency power switching applications. This short course will start with discussion of a power integration platform based on the p-GaN gate HEMT technology, wherein it presents exemplary designs of monolithic gate driving circuit and detection/protection circuits. The development of GaN CMOS will then be discussed to illustrate the robustness and expansion capability of the technology platform, and also the challenges that need to be overcome. By exploring the space underneath the GaN epi-structures, i.e., the Si substrate, the challenges and solutions for the high-voltage GaN power IC with high-side and low-side transistors in a half-bridge topology will also be elaborated. Moreover, we will illustrate the potential for expanding the scope of GaN power integration toward innovative device architectures, such as the GaN/SiC hybrid field-effect transistors (HyFETs), which harness the complementary merits of both GaN and SiC devices.

Kevin Jing Chen

Kevin J. Chen received his B.S. degree from Peking University, China and PhD degree from University of Maryland, College Park, USA. He has conducted R&D work on III-V semiconductor device technologies in NTT LSI Laboratories, Japan and Agilent Technologies, USA. Prof. Chen joined Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 2000, where he is currently a Chair Professor of Electronic and Computer Engineering and the director of the Nanosystem Fabrication Facility (NFF) at HKUST. Prof. Chen’s research is currently focused on developing wide-bandgap semiconductor device technologies for applications in power electronics, RF/microwave amplifiers and harsh environments electronics. His group has developed many innovative device designs, process techniques and technology platforms for performance and functionality enhancement. These works include a GaN smart power IC platform, GaN lateral field-effect rectifiers compatible with power transistors, passivation of (Al)GaN with AlN thin films by atomic layer deposition (ALD), surface reinforcement techniques for gate reliability improvements and double-channel design for suppression of hot electron induced surface degradation. His group was also the first to demonstrate GaN-on-SOI power HEMTs and the integration of GaN HEMTs with the active structures in the underlying Si and SiC substrates. Prof. Chen has more than 600 publications in international journals and conferences. He has been granted more than 20 granted patents on wide-bandgap semiconductor technologies. Prof. Chen is a Fellow of IEEE. He was the Chair of the technical program committee in ISPSD 2019 and the General Chair of ISPSD 2023.