Performance of novel Pd/Sn and Pd/Sn/Au Ohmic metallizations to n-GaAs have been investigated. Metallizations were deposited using a resistance heating evaporator and annealings were performed utilizing a conventional graphite strip annealer (cGSA). Metallization samples were characterized using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and current-voltage (I-V) measurements. Contact resistivities, rho(c), of the metallizations were measured utilizing conventional transmission line model (cTLM) method. Novel Pd/Sn and Pd/Sn/Au Ohmic contacts exhibit better thermal stability compared to non-alloyed Pd/Ge metallization. In order to investigate the effectiveness of novel Pd/Sn and Pd/Sn/Au Ohmic metallizations in device applications, gallium arsenide metal-semiconductor field-effect transistors (GaAs MESFETs) have been fabricated. MESFETs fabricated with Pd/Sn/Au Ohmic contacts show a extrinsic transconductance, g(me), of more than 133 mS/mm for a gate length, L-G, of 2 mum. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.