Aluminum nitride for heatspreading in RF IC's

L. La Spina*, E. Iborra, H. Schellevis, M. Clement, J. Olivares, L.K. Nanver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


To reduce the electrothermal instabilities in silicon-on-glass high-frequency bipolar devices, the integration of thin-film aluminum nitride as a heatspreader is studied. The AlN is deposited by reactive sputtering and this material is shown to fulfill all the requirements for actively draining heat from RF IC's, i.e., it has good process compatibility, sufficiently high thermal conductivity and good electrical isolation also at high frequencies. The residual stress and the piezoelectric character of the material, both of which can be detrimental for the present application, are minimized by a suitable choice of deposition conditions including variable biasing of the substrate in a multistep deposition cycle. Films of AlN as thick as 4 μm are successfully integrated in RF silicon-on-glass bipolar junction transistors that display a reduction of more than 70% in the value of the thermal resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1359-1363
Number of pages5
JournalSolid-state electronics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aluminum nitride
  • Bipolar transistor
  • Electrothermal phenomena
  • Heatspreader
  • Piezoelectric characteristics
  • RF integration
  • Thermal instabilities
  • Thermal resistance


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