Oxford Instruments alongside its research partner Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), can today share new and exciting technology developments that will significantly benefit key hyper-growth electric vehicle, datacentre and 5G markets. The technology developments allow critical transistor components to operate at higher voltages which increases performance and reliability, while also achieving a safer and more energy efficient (normally off ‘E-mode’) operation compared to existing devices. The new GaN (gallium nitride) HEMT device architecture is defined by a recessed and insulated gate junction into the AlGaN layer, and this device is referred to as GaN MISHEMT.
In September 2021, Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology and ITRI announced a cooperative research program for next-gen compound semiconductors. This latest breakthrough is an example of that collaboration delivering on its goal of accelerating technology to benefit the partners, their regions and wider global markets. Since that announcement, Oxford Instruments has also unveiled an exclusive supply deal with Laytec, who’s endpoint technology is used to control the GaN MISHEMT recess gate depth. Recess depth accuracy and repeatability is critical to tune the device performance characteristics, and LayTec’s technology is designed specifically for this application achieves target depth accuracy of ±0.5nm. ITRI provides pilot production and value-added services, including process verification and product development. ITRI’s integration services, especially this GaN development project, have proved incredibly beneficial, which quickly proved out the higher performance of GaN MISHEMT and provided a lower risk and faster route to market for the device.
Klaas Wisniewski, Oxford Instruments Strategic Business Development Director commented: “We have excellent strategic partners and customers like Enkris, ITRI, LayTec and ROHM, and our GaN solutions are positioned strongly to serve, grow and gain from big opportunity markets. Our leading Atomic Layer Etch (ALE) and Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) technology is raising material engineering performance to achieve new levels of surface quality and defect reduction, to meet the growing demand for higher performing devices.” Klaas also added: “With our technology partner ITRI, high volume GaN manufacturing customers and our focussed investment into high value and proprietary process solutions, we expect the GaN device market to be a key driver for our business and technology roadmap.” “ITRI has well-established expertise and history in providing GaN HEMT manufacturing solutions that enable the global supply chain for GaN power electronics and RF applications. However, to solve the technology challenges associated with fabrication of next generation devices, we needed more accurate and controlled technology solutions such as ALE for GaN HEMT high volume manufacturing. Through our long-standing partnership with Oxford Instruments, we have successfully qualified and integrated their ALE solution for a recessed gate MISHEMT into our GaN HEMT pilot production line.” Commented Robert Lo, Deputy General Director, EOSL, ITRI.
Klaas Wisniewski presented a talk entitled “Enhancing GaN HEMT Performance for Power Electronics Applications with Atomic Scale Processing Production Solutions” at Semicon Taiwan Sept 14-16, 2022, TaiNEX