Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.

Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. Our research efforts are geared entirely to people’s needs: health, security, communication, energy and the environment. As a result, the work undertaken by Fraunhofer researchers and developers has a significant impact on people’s lives. Its services are solicited by customers and contractual partners in industry and public administration.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is a recognized non-profit organization that takes its name from Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787–1826), the illustrious Munich researcher, inventor and entrepreneur. Its research activities are conducted by 72 institutes and research units at locations throughout Germany. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft employs a staff of more than 26,600, who work with an annual research budget of 2.6 billion euros. Of this sum, 2.2 billion euros is generated through contract research. Around 70 percent of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s contract research revenue is derived from contracts with industry and from publicly financed research projects. International collaborations with excellent research partners and innovative companies around the world ensure direct access to regions of the greatest importance to present and future scientific progress and economic development.

Fraunhofer institute for microstructure of materials and systems (IMWS) primarily focus on research in microstructure diagnostics and microstructure-based process design. It has developed particular experience for more than 25 years in the development and application of high-resolution defect localization and failure diagnostic methods. In close cooperation with manufacturers of microelectronic and testing devices, these methods were applied for physical failure root cause analysis, design for reliability approaches, and material characterization in the fields of IC manufacturing, sensor development and packaging.

Fraunhofer IMWS has international recognized experience in failure diagnostics on GaN devices to identify process induced defects and explore related failure modes and degradation mechanisms during operation.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF) develop electronic and optoelectronic devices, based on III-V semiconductors, for a wide range of applications. As one of the leading research facilities worldwide in the area of III-V semiconductors, Fraunhofer IAF covers the entire value chain: our core competences range from materials research, design, technology and circuits to modules and systems. High frequency circuits for communication technology, robust gallium nitride voltage converters for efficient use of regenerative energies, infrared and UV detectors, semiconductor lasers for the detection of hazardous substances, micro-sensors for gas and fluid analysis, or innovative diamond technologies – this is only a small selection of developments with which the Fraunhofer IAF advances research and the development of innovative semiconductor technologies.

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Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung
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The role of the two Fraunhofer institutes within UltimateGaN consist in developing key GaN HF technologies and provide reliability research to support collaboration partners for future advanced power electronics components.

Fraunhofer IMWS provides high resolution material characterization for improving and securing reliability by identifying process induced defects and exploring relevant failure modes and degradation mechanisms during device operation. Within this respect Fraunhofer IMWS will support GaN technology developments as task leader in WP5 providing advanced failure analysis methods adapted to the requirements for GaN-based devices. In WP 1 Fraunhofer IMWS coordinate structural characterization and defect research of vertical GaN stacks as task leader. It contributes by deeper understanding of the dielectric and GaN interface properties and performs structural characterization of EPI processing and related defect densities. In WP2 micromechanical testing and FEM simulation methods are applied to understand mechanical damage risks and crack generation of active GaN structures.

The Fraunhofer IAF is participating as a partner in WP3. In the context of this work package, a lateral GaN on Silicon High Electron Mobility Transistor is to be developed, which can be used to demonstrate transistors at 4.5 GHz and integrated mm-wave circuits up to 28 GHz. This includes the entire development chain: starting with the simulated-supported concept selection for the active high-frequency devices, over the technology development of individual process steps as well as the GaN epitaxy deposition, up to the frequency scaling of the transistors. The Fraunhofer IAF also participates in WP5, which is focusing on the detailed reliability analysis of the developed GaN-devices. The target is to increase the performance of the devices regarding their breakdown and lifetime capability.

Key Contribution

Fraunhofer IMWS complement the quality and reliability investigations of new GaN on Si semiconductor components by providing and applying advanced physical failure diagnostics approaches. It supports the GaN device developments by its excellence in understanding material interactions and failure mechanisms, provision of adapted failure analysis solutions, nanoanalytics and reliability models as important input to develop and optimize process steps, to assure yield and quality during manufacturing as well as to secure reliability during application.

The Fraunhofer IAF specifically supports the work in this project through the simulation-based design of transistor components for 4.5 GHz and 28 GHz. At the beginning of the development work, different approaches for GaN epitaxy as well as transistor geometries will be investigated and optimized by simulation and experiments. Besides these technology development topics, the small- and large-signal modeling of the passive and active high-frequency components will be an important part of the Fraunhofer IAF. Based on these models, different power amplifier demonstrators (hybrid- and integrated approaches) will be designed and processed. Within the framework of the reliability analysis, the Fraunhofer IAF will assemble test structures of the lateral high-frequency devices and will evaluate their high-frequency excitation under high compression for different bias points and temperatures. The results of these investigations serve to optimize the active components within the development process.