IEEE Transactions on Device and Materials Reliability, Vol, 7, No. 1, pp. 200-208, March 2007.

The Effect of Electrostatic Discharge on Electrical Overstress Susceptibility in a Gallium Arsenide MESFET-Based Device

V. Eveloy, Y. Hwang, and M. Pecht
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


The electrostatic discharge (ESD) and electrical overstress (EOS) susceptibility of gallium arsenide (GaAs) MESFET microwave monolithic integrated circuits is investigated using a combination of threshold ESD/EOS tests, ESD step stress tests, and multiple low-level ESD stresses of constant magnitude less than the hard failure threshold voltage. The ESD stresses applied were based on standard ESD test models. Multiple low-level ESD stresses produced no stress hardening or weakening effect on the hard ESD failure threshold voltage of the device and no detectable degradation in electrical performance. However, such stresses were found to increase the device susceptibility to subsequent EOS failure, suggesting that low-level ESD stresses can latently damage GaAs MESFET-based devices. EOS susceptibility did not recover with annealing. The failure signatures suggest that the hard failure mechanisms caused by EOS following the application of low-level ESD stresses are dependent on the amplitude of the pre-ESD stress and that field failures may be caused by successive ESD and EOS stresses. The findings indicate the need for dual ESD and EOS protection in the GaAs MESFET component studied and suggest that the relationship between ESD and EOS susceptibility may need to be considered for other semiconductor technologies.

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members.

© IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.


[Home Page] [Articles Page]
Copyright © 2008 by CALCE and the University of Maryland, All Rights Reserved