Cho, J., Li, Z., Bozorg-Grayeli, E., Kodama, T., Francis, D., Ejeckam, F., Faili, F., Asheghi, M., Goodson, K.E., “Thermal Characterization of GaN-on-Diamond Substrates for HEMT Applications,” IEEE Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems (ITHERM) 2012, May 30 – June 1, San Dego, CA



High-power operation of AlGaN/GaN high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) requires efficient heat removal through the substrate. GaN composite substrates including high-thermal conductivity diamond are promising, but high thermal resistances at the interfaces between the GaN and diamond can offset the benefit of a diamond substrate. We report on measurements of the thermal resistances at the GaN-diamond interfaces for two generations (1st and 2nd) of GaN-on-diamond substrates using a combination of picosecond time-domain thermoreflectanc (TDTR) and nanosecond transient thermoreflectance (TTR) techniques. Two flipped-epitaxial samples are presented to determine the thermal resistances of the AlGaN/AlN transition layer. For the 2nd generation samples, electrical heating and thermometry in nanopatterned metal bridges confirms the TDTR results. This paper demonstrates that the latter generation samples, which reduce the AlGaN thickness by 75%, result in a strongly-reduced thermal resistance between the GaN and diamond. Further optimization of the GaN-diamond interfaces should provide an opportunity for improved cooling of HEMT devices.