Pseudopotential-Based Electron Quantum Transport: Theoretical Formulation and Application to Nanometer-Scale Silicon Nanowire Transistors



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American Institute of Physics Inc



We present a formalism to treat quantum electronic transport at the nanometer scale based on empirical pseudopotentials. This formalism offers explicit atomistic wavefunctions and an accurate band structure, enabling a detailed study of the characteristics of devices with a nanometer-scale channel and body. Assuming externally applied potentials that change slowly along the electron-transport direction, we invoke the envelope-wavefunction approximation to apply the open boundary conditions and to develop the transport equations. We construct the full-band open boundary conditions (self-energies of device contacts) from the complex band structure of the contacts. We solve the transport equations and present the expressions required to calculate the device characteristics, such as device current and charge density. We apply this formalism to study ballistic transport in a gate-all-around (GAA) silicon nanowire field-effect transistor with a body-size of 0.39 nm, a gate length of 6.52 nm, and an effective oxide thickness of 0.43 nm. Simulation results show that this device exhibits a subthreshold slope (SS) of ~66 mV/decade and a drain-induced barrier-lowering of ~2.5 mV/V. Our theoretical calculations predict that low-dimensionality channels in a 3D GAA architecture are able to meet the performance requirements of future devices in terms of SS swing and electrostatic control.



Ballistics, Penetration mechanics, Boundary value problems, Field-effect transistors, Gallium alloys, Nanowires, Quantum electronics, Quantum chemistry


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