We report on a detailed investigation of the degradation of AlGaN/GaN Schottky diodes grown on silicon, submitted to high reverse-bias. The analyzed devices have a vertical structure; thanks to this feature, it was possible (i) to characterize the effects of stress by means of capacitance-voltage (C-V) measurements, therefore, identifying and localizing the trap states generated as a consequence of the stress tests; (ii) to accurately control the intensity and distribution of the electric field over stress time. Results indicate that stress induces an increase in the leakage current, which is well correlated to the increase of a new capacitance peak in the C-V characteristics. Based on experimental data and bidimensional simulations, degradation is ascribed to the generation of donor traps in the GaN buffer, close to the AlGaN/GaN interface.

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