Here we report on high field transport in GaN based on the rigid ion model of the electron-phonon interaction within the cellular Monte Carlo (CMC) approach. Using the rigid pseudo-ion method for the cubic zinc-blende and hexagonal wurtzite structures, the anisotropic deformation potentials are derived from the electronic structure, the atomic pseudopotential and the full phonon dispersion and eigenvectors for both acoustic and optical modes. Several different electronic structure and lattice dynamics models are compared, as well as different models for the interpolation of the atomic pseudopotentials required in the rigid pseudo-ion method. Piezoelectric as well as anisotropic polar optical phonon scattering is accounted for as well. In terms of high field transport, the peak velocity is primarily determined by deformation potential scattering described through the rigid pseudo-ion model. The calculated velocity is compared with experimental data from pulsed I-V measurements. Good agreement is found using the rigid ion model to the measured velocity-field characteristics with the inclusion of dislocation and ionized impurity scattering. The crystal orientation of the electric field is investigated, where very little difference is observed in the velocity-field characteristics. We simulate the effects of nonequilibrium hot phonons on the energy relaxation as well, using a detailed balance between emission and absorption during the simulation, and an anharmonic decay of LO phonons to acoustic phonons, as reported previously. Nonequilibrium phonons are shown to result in a significant degradation of the velocity-field characteristics for high carrier densities, such as those encountered at the AlGaN/GaN interface due to polarization effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number174206
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number17
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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