Junctionless silicon nanowire transistors for the tunable operation of a highly sensitive, low power sensor
Silicon nanowire (SiNW) field effect transistors (FETs) have been widely investigated as biological sensors for their remarkable sensitivity due to their large surface to volume ratio (S/V) and high selectivity towards a myriad of analytes through functionalization. In this work, we propose a long channel (L > 500 nm) junctionless nanowire transistor (JNT) SiNW sensor based on a highly doped, ultrathin body field-effect transistor with an organic gate dielectric epsilon(r) = 1.7. The operation regime (threshold voltage V-th) and electrical characteristics of JNTs can be directly tuned by the careful design of the NW/Fin FET. JNTs are investigated through 3D Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) simulations performed as a function of geometrical dimensions and channel doping concentration N-d for a p-type tri-gated structure. Two different materials, namely, an oxide and an organic monolayer, with varying dielectric constants er provide surface passivation. Mildly doped N-d = 1 x 10(19) cm(-3), thin bodied structures (fin width F-w < 20 nm) with an organic dielectric (epsilon(r) = 1.7) were found to have promising electrical characteristics for FET sensor structures such as V-th similar to 0 V, high relative sensitivities in the subthreshold regime S > 95%, high transconductance values at threshold g(m),(Vfg=0V) > 10 nS, low subthreshold slopes SS similar to 60 mV/dec, high saturation currents I-d,I-max similar to 1-10 mu A and high I-on/I-off > 10(4)-10(10) ratios. Our results provide useful guidelines for the design of junctionless FET nanowire sensors that can be integrated into miniaturized, low power biosensing systems. (c) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.