Infoscience

Thesis

Tunnel Field Effect Transistors: from Steep-Slope Electronic Switches to Energy Efficient Logic Applications

The aim of this work has been the investigation of homo-junction Tunnel Field Effect Transistors starting from a compact modelling perspective to its possible applications. Firstly a TCAD based simulation study is done to explain the main device characteristics. The main differences of a Tunnel FET with respect to a conventional MOSFET is pointed out and the differences have been explained. A compact DC/AC model has been developed which is capable of describing the I-V characteristics in all regimes of operation. The model takes in to account ambi-polarity, drain side breakdown and all tunneling related physics. A temperature dependence is also added to the model to study the temperature independent behavior of tunneling. The model was further implemented in a Verilog-A based circuit simulator. Following calibration to experimental results of Silicon and strained-Silicon TFETs, the model has been also used to benchmark against a standard CMOS node for digital and analog applications. The circuits built with Tunnel FETs showed interesting temperature behavior which was superior to the compared CMOS node. In the same work, we also explore and propose solutions for using TFETs for low power memory applications. Both volatile and non-volatile memory concepts are investigated and explored. The application of a Tunnel FET as a capacitor-less memory has been experimentally demonstrated for the first time. New device concepts have been proposed and process flows for the same are developed to realize them in the clean room in EPFL.

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