Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Embargo Date

8-24-2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Advisor(s)

Prasanta K. Ghosh

Keywords

FinFET, HEMT, III-V compound, semiconductor, simulation, TCAD

Subject Categories

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Abstract

Transistor scaling following per Moore's Law slows down its pace when entering into nanometer regime where short channel effects (SCEs), including threshold voltage fluctuation, increased leakage current and mobility degradation, become pronounced in the traditional planar silicon MOSFET. In addition, as the demand of diversified functionalities rises, conventional silicon technologies cannot satisfy all non-digital applications requirements because of restrictions that stem from the fundamental material properties. Therefore, novel device materials and structures are desirable to fuel further evolution of semiconductor technologies. In this dissertation, I have proposed innovative device structures and addressed design considerations of those non-classical field effect transistors for digital, analog/RF and power applications with projected benefits. Considering device process difficulties and the dramatic fabrication cost, application-oriented device design and optimization are performed through device physics analysis and TCAD modeling methodology to develop design guidelines utilizing transistor's improved characteristics toward application-specific circuit performance enhancement. Results support proposed device design methodologies that will allow development of novel transistors capable of overcoming limitation of planar nanoscale MOSFETs.

In this work, both silicon and III-V compound devices are designed, optimized and characterized for digital and non-digital applications through calibrated 2-D and 3-D TCAD simulation. For digital functionalities, silicon and InGaAs MOSFETs have been investigated. Optimized 3-D silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and body-on-insulator (BOI) FinFETs are simulated to demonstrate their impact on the performance of volatile memory SRAM module with consideration of self-heating effects. Comprehensive simulation results suggest that the current drivability degradation due to increased device temperature is modest for both devices and corresponding digital circuits. However, SOI FinFET is recommended for the design of low voltage operation digital modules because of its faster AC response and better SCEs management than the BOI structure. The FinFET concept is also applied to the non-volatile memory cell at 22 nm technology node for low voltage operation with suppressed SCEs.

In addition to the silicon technology, our TCAD estimation based on upper projections show that the InGaAs FinFET, with superior mobility and improved interface conditions, achieve tremendous drive current boost and aggressively suppressed SCEs and thereby a strong contender for low-power high-performance applications over the silicon counterpart. For non-digital functionalities, multi-fin FETs and GaN HEMT have been studied. Mixed-mode simulations along with developed optimization guidelines establish the realistic application potential of underlap design of silicon multi-Fin FETs for analog/RF operation. The device with underlap design shows compromised current drivability but improve analog intrinsic gain and high frequency performance. To investigate the potential of the novel N-polar GaN material, for the first time, I have provided calibrated TCAD modeling of E-mode N-polar GaN single-channel HEMT. In this work, I have also proposed a novel E-mode dual-channel hybrid MIS-HEMT showing greatly enhanced current carrying capability. The impact of GaN layer scaling has been investigated through extensive TCAD simulations and demonstrated techniques for device optimization.

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Open Access

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