chapter  7
28 Pages

ESD Sensitivity of GaN-Based Electronic Devices

ByGaudenzio Meneghesso, Matteo Meneghini, Enrico Zanoni

This chapter reviews the main issues related to the electrostatic discharge (ESD) instabilities of electronic and optoelectronic devices based on gallium nitride (GaN). It specifically describes the failure mechanisms of GaN-based transistors for radio frequency (RF) and power applications and of advanced light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for application in the general lighting field. Over The chapter also reviews the most interesting or widely adopted solutions for improving the ESD robustness of GaN-based LEDs. A first possibility is to add, in parallel to each LED, an external protection device, such as a diode or a transient voltage suppressor; these are usually silicon devices, which can be either unipolar or bipolar. In most of the cases, these devices are integrated in the LED package, to ensure small-size and optimal integration. Another possibility is to use metal-oxide varistors (MOVs), which are voltage-dependent resistors used to protect electronic devices from very short voltage spikes.