Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Goutam Koley

Committee Member

William R. Harrell

Committee Member

Pingshan Wang


We have investigated photon-assisted trapping and detrapping of electrons injected from the gate under negative bias in a heterostructure field-effect transistor (HFET). The electron injection rate from the gate was found to be dramatically affected by sub-bandgap laser illumination. The trapped electrons reduced the two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) density at the AlGaN/GaN heterointerface but could also be emitted from their trap states by sub-bandgap photons, leading to a recovery of 2DEG density. The trapping and detrapping dynamics were found to be strongly dependent on the wavelength and focal position of the laser, as well as the gate bias stress time prior to illumination of the HFET. Applying this phenomenon of trapping and detrapping assisted by sub-bandgap photons, red, green, and purple lasers were used to demonstrate photo-assisted dynamic switching operations by manipulation of trapped carriers at the surface of an AlGaN/GaN HFET. A physical model based on band diagrams, explaining the trapping and detrapping behavior of electrons, has been presented.



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