Pressure and temperature dependence of GaN/AlGaN high electron mobility transistor based sensors on a sapphire membrane



This paper reports a high pressure sensor based on a GaN/AlGaN High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) that uses its 375 mm thick sapphire substrate to provide a robust base and enables device operation up to at least 60 bar (6 MPa). Transduction of changes in ambient pressure occurs via piezoelectric and pyroelectric effects on the channel conductance. The HEMTs were strategically placed along an 8 mm2 GaN/AlGaN/GaN/sapphire chip; where the central 4 mm diameter behaves as a pressure sensitive ‘drumskin’. The location of peak response lies in the HEMT at the geometric centre of the drumskin, demonstrated by the change in IDS when the pressure was increased from 0 to 60 bar. The response of six strategically placed HEMTs along the chip's surface, were compared to a finite element model to predict sensor behaviour. (© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)