Theoretical Simulation of Negative Differential Transconductance in Lateral Quantum Well nMOS Devices




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American Institute of Physics Inc


We present a theoretical study of the negative differential transconductance (NDT) recently observed in the lateral-quantum-well Si n-channel field-effect transistors J. Appl. Phys. 118, 124505 (2015)]. In these devices, p⁺ doping extensions are introduced at the source-channel and drain-channel junctions, thus creating two potential barriers that define the quantum well across whose quasi-bound states resonant/sequential tunneling may occur. Our study, based on the quantum transmitting boundary method, predicts the presence of a sharp NDT in devices with a nominal gate length of 10-to-20 nm at low temperatures (~10 K). At higher temperatures, the NDT weakens and disappears altogether as a result of increasing thermionic emission over the p⁺ potential barriers. In larger devices (with a gate length of 30 nm or longer), the NDT cannot be observed because of the low transmission probability and small energetic spacing (smaller than k_{B}T) of the quasi-bound states in the quantum well. We speculate that the inability of the model to predict the NDT observed in 40 nm gate-length devices may be due to an insufficiently accurate knowledge of the actual doping profiles. On the other hand, our study shows that NDT suitable for novel logic applications may be obtained at room temperature in devices of the current or near-future generation (sub-10 nm node), provided an optimal design can be found that minimizes the thermionic emission (requiring high p⁺ potential-barriers) and punch-through (that meets the opposite requirement of potential-barriers low enough to favor the tunneling current).



Field-effect transistors, Quantum theory, Electron tubes—Thermionic emission, Simulation methods, Semiconductors, Quantum wells

National Science Foundation under Grant No. ECCS-1403421


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