Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 January 2011
Significant progress has been made in the development of SiC metal semiconductor field-effect transistors (MESFETs) and monolithic microwave integrated-circuit (MMIC) power amplifiers for high-frequency power applications. Three-inch-diameter high-purity semi-insulating 4H-SiC substrates have been used in this development, enabling high-volume fabrication with improved performance by minimizing surface- and substrate-related trapping issues previously observed in MESFETs. These devices exhibit excellent reliability characteristics, with mean time to failure in excess of 500 h at a junction temperature of 410°C. A sampling of these devices has also been running for over 5000 h in an rf high-temperature operating-life test, with negligible changes in performance. High-power SiC MMIC amplifiers have also been demonstrated with excellent yield and repeatability. These MMIC amplifiers show power performance characteristics not previously available with conventional GaAs technology. These developments have led to the commercial availability of SiC rf power MESFETs and to the release of a foundry process for MMIC fabrication.
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