Projet ACTION ANR-22-CE05-0028-01
Novel AlGaN channel transistors for high voltage applications
- IEMN Project Sponsor: F. Medjdoub
- Coordinator: IEMN
- Partners: Institut Néel, société EasyGaN, laboratoire CRHEA
- The ACTION project aims to explore and develop a new breed of transistors using an ultra-wide bandgap AlGaN channel. This PRCE project is made up of three academic laboratories, CRHEA, IEMN and the Néel Institute, and the startup EasyGaN as the industrial partner.
- These AlGaN transistors will make it possible to lay the foundations for a future generation of power components that will offer higher operation voltage and temperature stability beyond the limits of GaN. The targeted performances will compete with contemporary SiC-based transistors. Thanks to the increased efficiency at high voltage operation (1200V), currently inaccessible to GaN-on-Silicon transistors, these components will reduce the losses that occur during the multiple transformations of electrical energy from its production to our daily use. The key point of the project is the development by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) of AlGaN/AlGaN heterostructures on large diameter silicon substrates. These novel and CMOS compatible semiconductors will strengthen the current efforts of the main French players in the field. In the context of decarbonization and therefore a massive electrification, the ACTION project will play an important and strategic role in the creation of a new generation of semiconductor components improving energy management.
- This project is based on remarkable preliminary results since a breakdown field greater than 2.5 MV/cm has already been measured on extremely simple AlGaN channel HEMT structures. This breakdown field value is already beyond the state of the art of GaN-on-silicon HEMTs, which is typically around 1.5 MV/cm. These promising results confirm the interest of this approach, especially since these extremely simple structures (without strain engineering or defect density reduction) have been epitaxially grown on a silicon substrate. The ACTION project aims to develop AlGaN channel HEMT structures optimized in terms of defects and strain engineering on large diameter silicon substrates based on the unique CRHEA know-how of more than 20 years of MBE epitaxy. Part of this know-how has been already transferred to the startup EasyGaN. In particular, a patent which makes it possible to reduce the density of dislocations in the AlGaN alloy has been licensed to EasyGaN. Another key point of the ACTION project is the optimization of the different processing steps and the realization of the device. The team of Farid Medjdoub (IEMN) is at the state of the art in this field. Their expertise will make it possible to optimize the performance of the structures grown in the project. Julien Pernot's team (Institut Néel), recognized as a leader in the field of ultra-wide-gap materials, will provide an in-depth study of the properties of the AlGaN. In particular, the team will provide expertise on the electron transport properties which are the core of the project. All things considered, the ACTION project will enable EasyGaN to add a high value and strategic product to its catalogue.
- The partnership offers perfect complementarity by bringing unique know-how to carry out this ambitious project aimed at innovative power components. The project will also benefit from the expertise of external partners such as: - the company Knowmade specialized in patent analysis and consulting in technology watch and intellectual property strategy, - the University of Padua for dynamic measurements, - the University of Bristol for thermal analyzes and, - the SME Riber for developments and technical support around MBE growth on 8" substrates.
The main technological or characterization means that will be necessary to carry out the project:
- CNMF : Centrale de micro et nano fabrication
- Plateforme CHOP : caractérisation DC, pulsée, haute tension
Flagship projects concerned:
- Smart energy