Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Applied Physics





DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

October 2015


A bottleneck for heat dissipation from the channel of a GaN-based heterostructure field-effect transistor is treated in terms of the lifetime of nonequilibrium (hot) longitudinal optical phonons, which are responsible for additional scattering of electrons in the voltage-biased quasi-two-dimensional channel. The hot-phonon lifetime is measured for an Al0.33Ga0.67N/AlN/Al0.1Ga0.9N/GaN heterostructure where the mobile electrons are spread in a composite Al0.1Ga0.9N/GaN channel and form a camelback electron density profile at high electric fields. In accordance with plasmon-assisted hot-phonon decay, the parameter of importance for the lifetime is not the total charge in the channel (the electron sheet density) but rather the electron density profile. This is demonstrated by comparing two structures with equal sheet densities (1 × 1013 cm−2), but with different density profiles. The camelback channel profile exhibits a shorter hot-phonon lifetime of ∼270 fs as compared with ∼500 fs reported for a standard Al0.33Ga0.67N/AlN/GaN channel at low supplied power levels. When supplied power is sufficient to heat the electrons > 600 K, ultrafast decay of hot phonons is observed in the case of the composite channel structure. In this case, the electron density profile spreads to form a camelback profile, and hot-phonon lifetime reduces to ∼50 fs.


Leach, J. H., Wu, M., & Morkoc, H., et al. Ultrafast decay of hot phonons in an AlGaN/AlN/AlGaN/GaN camelback channel. Journal of Applied Physics, 110, 104504 (2011). Copyright © 2011 American Institute of Physics.

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VCU Electrical and Computer Engineering Publications