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Bipolar Charge-Plasma Transistor: A Novel Three Terminal Device

Bipolar Charge-Plasma Transistor: A Novel Three Terminal Device

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IEEE Transactions on Electron
Devices, Vol.59, pp.962-967, April 2012.
IEEE Transactions on Electron
Devices, Vol.59, pp.962-967, April 2012.

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Published by: Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar on Aug 12, 2012
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> TED-2011-11-1221-R.R1< 2
M. J. Kumar and K. Nadda, "Bipolar Charge-Plasma Transistor: ANovel Three Terminal Device", IEEE Transactions on ElectronDevices, Vol.59, pp.962-967, April 2012.
 
 
 Abstract
 — 
 
A distinctive approach for forming a lateralBipolar Charge Plasma Transistor (BCPT) is explored using 2-Dsimulations. Different metal work-function electrodes are used toinduce n- and p-type charge plasma layers on undoped SOI toform the emitter, base and collector regions of a lateral NPNtransistor. Electrical characteristics of the proposed device aresimulated and compared with that of a conventionally dopedlateral bipolar junction transistor with identical dimensions. Oursimulation results demonstrate that the BCPT concept will helpus realize a superior bipolar transistor in terms of a high currentgain compared to a conventional BJT. This BCPT concept issuitable in overcoming doping issues such as dopant activationand high-thermal budgets which are serious issues in ultra thinSOI structures.
 Index Terms
 — 
 
Bipolar Charge Plasma Transistor, Silicon-on-insulator, current gain, simulation, CMOS technology.
I.
 
I
NTRODUCTION
 IPOLAR transistors exhibit a number of significantadvantages such as well controllable characteristics, highspeed, high gain and low output resistance. These areexcellent properties for mixed signal circuit design and analogamplifiers. An emergent trend in modern high density VLSIcircuits is the integration of bipolar transistors with CMOStechnology on thin SOI films.However, CMOS fabrication favors lateral bipolar transistorconcepts [1-6] on SOI since it is easier to tune the SOI layerproperties to optimize the CMOS devices without degradingthe performance of the bipolar devices [2]. Realization of atrue low cost complementary-BiCMOS process is possibleonly when the lateral bipolar transistors can be fabricated onCMOS using simple fabrication steps with low thermalbudgets. High temperature cycles, required for post ion-implantation annealing of emitter and base regions of a bipolartransistor can create complications while integrating thebipolar process with the CMOS process.To overcome the above problems, we propose for the firsttime a new device concept designated as Bipolar ChargePlasma Transistor (BCPT) as shown in Fig. 1. In this structure,no ion implantation is done on silicon; rather, the p-type andn-type regions are formed in the undoped silicon layer byemploying metal electrodes with different work-functions [7-9] to induce (i) an electron plasma for forming the emitter andcollector regions and (ii) hole plasma to form the base region.
Manuscript received November 17, 2011. (Write the date on which yousubmitted your paper for review.)The authors are with the Department of Electrical Engineering, IndianInstitute of Technology, New Delhi 110 016, India (e-mail:mamidala@ee.iitd.ac.in, kanika.shippu@gmail.com ).
The most important advantage of the proposed BCPT is theabsence of doped regions. This avoids the necessity of complicated thermal budgets using expensive annealingequipment.Using two dimensional simulations, we describe in thispaper, the unique electrical characteristics of the BCPT on anundoped SOI. Our results show that the BCPT exhibits a goodtransistor action with a significantly larger current gaincompared to a conventional BJT with the same devicegeometry. Our results may provide the incentive for furtherexperimental exploration of the BCPT concept since a charge-plasma pn junction has already been demonstratedexperimentally [7].II.
 
D
EVICE
S
TRUCTURE AND SIMULATION PARAMETERS
 The schematic views of the lateral NPN BCPT and theconventional lateral BJT are shown in Fig. 1. The parametersof the devices used in our simulation are: background doping(N) =1×10
13
 /cm
3
, buried-oxide layer thickness (t
BOX
) = 375nm, separation between the electrodes (L
S
) = 100 nm, gateoxide layer thickness (t
ox
) = 5 nm and undoped silicon layerthickness (t
Si
) = 15 nm. In BCPT, the electrode length of theemitter, base and collector regions is chosen to be 0.2 µm, 0.1µm and 0.4 µm, respectively. For creating the emitter, byinducing electrons in the undoped silicon body, Hafnium(work-function
φ
m,E
=3.9 eV) is employed as the emitterelectrode metal. For inducing holes to create the base region,platinum (work function
φ
m, B
= 5.65 eV) is used. As thecollector of an npn transistor needs to have a lower carrierconcentration than the base region, to induce electrons tocreate the collector region, Al (work-function
φ
m, C
of 4.28 eV)is used. It is also important to choose an appropriate thicknessfor the silicon film. To maintain uniform induced carrierdistribution throughout the silicon thickness, from the oxide-Siinterface to the Si-buried oxide interface, the silicon filmthickness has to be kept within the Debye length, i.e.,where
ε
Si
is the dielectricconstant of silicon, V
T
is the thermal voltage, and N is thecarrier concentration in the body [8]. For the BCPT structureshown in Fig. 1, the simulated net carrier concentrations(taken at 2 nm away from the Si-oxide interface) for zero biasand typical forward active conditions are shown in Fig. 2.Either under thermal equilibrium condition (V
BE
= 0 V andV
CE
= 0 V) or under forward active bias condition (V
BE
= 0.7V and V
CE
= 1 V), the electron and hole charge plasmaconcentration is maintained in the emitter (n
E
= 2×10
18
/cm
3
),base (p
B
= 1×10
20
 /cm
3
) and collector (n
C
= 2×10
17
/cm
3
)regions due to the choice of work functions of the metalelectrodes with respect to that of silicon e.g., low value of 
 
φ
m,E
 and
φ
m,C
, for the emitter and collector electrodes and higher
M. Jagadesh Kumar
Senior 
 
 Member, IEEE 
and Kanika Nadda,
B
Bipolar Charge Plasma Transistor: A NovelThree Terminal Device
 
> TED-2011-11-1221-R.R1< 3
φ
m,B
for the base electrode. This presence of charge plasma(electron/hole) concentrations in the undoped silicon filmpermits the formation of a bipolar charge plasma transistor.Quasi-Fermi levels (QFL) of the BCPT under thermalequilibrium and under forward active bias conditions areshown in Fig. 3. Under thermal equilibrium, the quasi-Fermilevels for electrons and holes align with each other as in theconventional BJTs as shown in Fig. 3(a). Since excess carriersare present on either side of the forward biased emitter-base junction, the quasi-Fermi levels are different for holes andelectrons in this case. In the reverse biased base-collectorregion, the minority carrier concentration in the collectorregion does not reach its thermal equilibrium value because of the presence of the field electrode. This is why the quasi-Fermi levels do not merge throughout the collector region asshown in Fig. 3 (b).The current in the BCPT is strongly controlled by theelectrodes. The lateral NPN transistor with which we havecompared our results is also an SOI structure and has the samedevice parameters as that of the BCPT except that the emitter,base and the collector regions have a length of 0.25 µm, 0.2µm and 0.45 µm, and a typical doping of N
D
= 1×10
20
 /cm
3
,N
A
= 9×10
17
 /cm
3
and N
D
= 2×10
17
 /cm
3
, respectively. Thelengths are chosen so as to have an equal neutral base widthfor both the transistors. The doping profile is chosen similar tothat of a practical bipolar transistor. We could not choose theemitter and base doping of the BJT same as the charge plasmaconcentrations in the BCPT since this would make the currentgain of the BJT extremely low (less than 1) due to the largerbase Gummel number compared to the emitter Gummelnumber in BCPT.Simulations have been performed with ATLAS devicesimulation tool [10] using the Fermi Dirac distribution forcarrier statistics, with Phi
lip’s unified mobility model [11
],and doping-induced band-gap narrowing model [12], all withdefault silicon parameters. Standard thermionic emissionmodel [9] is invoked for the emitter contact of BCPT with awork function of 3.9 eV and a surface recombination velocityof 2.2×10
6
cm/s and 1.6×10
6
cm/s for electrons and holes,respectively. The same base metal i.e. platinum is used at thebase contact of BCPT and BJT to ensure that the base contactproperties are identical in both the transistors. This ensuresthat the lower base current in the BCPT is not due to adifference in the base contact properties. Ohmic contactconditions are assumed at all other contacts. The metal-semiconductor contact resistances are assumed to benegligible in both the transistors. For recombination, we have
enabled Klassen’s model for concentration dependent
lifetimes for SRH recombination with intrinsic carrierlifetimes n
ie
= n
ih
= 0.2 µs [13]. High electric field velocitysaturation is modeled through the field dependent mobilitymodel [10]. The screening effects in the inversion layer arealso considered by invoking the Shirahata mobility model[14]. Selberherr impact ionization model is used forcalculating B
VCEO
[15]. To ensure that our simulations areaccurate, we have first reproduced the simulation results of thecharge-plasma diode characteristics [8] using the abovemodels and ensured that the current voltage characteristicspredicted by our simulation match with those reported in [8].III.
 
R
ESULTS AND
D
ISCUSSION
 The gummel plot for the BCPT is compared with that of theBJT as shown in Fig. 4. While the BCPT exhibits almost thesame collector current as compared to the conventionallydoped BJT, the base current of the BCPT is much lower thanthat of the BJT due to the SALTRAN effect [5, 16]. When alightly doped emitter is contacted with a metal whose work function is less than that of silicon, it results in a surfaceaccumulation of electrons at the metal contact as shown in Fig.5. However, no such electron accumulation is observed in thecase of the BJT since its emitter is heavily doped. In the caseof BCPT, the accumulation of electrons results in an electricfield due to the electron concentration gradient from themetal
 – 
semiconductor interface toward the emitter
 – 
base junction. The direction of this field is such that it repels theminority holes injected from the base into the emitter,resulting in a reduced hole concentration gradient in theemitter region. As a consequence, there is a reduction in basecurrent, leading to a significant improvement in the currentgain as explained in [5, 16]. Hence, the peak current gain of the BCPT (4532) is several orders higher compared to thepeak current gain of the conventional BJT (26.5) as shown inFig. 6. As discussed in [8], [17] the metal work-functionsstrongly control the current in the charge plasma diode.Likewise the work-functions of the emitter and base electrodemetals strongly control the emitter and collector current. Byappropriately choosing the metal electrode work-functions, theBCPT characteristics can be effectively controlled. The outputcurrent drive of the BCPT is in agreement with the forwardcurrent levels of the charge plasma diode reported in [7] and[8]. However, further work needs to be done to increase thecurrent levels by optimizing the device dimensions and thechoice of metals.The output characteristics of the BCPT are compared withthat of the conventional BJT in Fig. 7. Due to its larger currentgain, the BCPT exhibits a slightly lower collector breakdownvoltage compared to the conventional BJT. However, weobserve negligible base width modulation in the BCPT due toa higher concentration of induced holes in the base region of the BCPT.The saturation voltage (VCE (sat)) is marginally higher forBCPT due to the lower electron concentration in the emittercompared to the BJT. If the emitter doping in the BJTstructure is made similar to the electron concentration in theemitter of BCPT, we have observed a similar increase in VCE(sat) even for the BJT. For bipolar transistors to be useful inhigh-frequency applications, their f 
T
should be higher than 1GHz. Fig. 8 shows that the simulated cut-off frequency f 
T
of the BCPT (3.7 GHz) and the BJT structure (7.5 GHz).However, the presence of intrinsic gaps Ls (100 nm) betweenthe emitter-base and collector base junctions which are largerthan in the BJT will lower the cut-off frequency of the BCPTcompared to that of the BJT structure. Our simulation resultsshow that the speed of the BCPT is lower than that of the
 
> TED-2011-11-1221-R.R1< 4conventional lateral BJTs and further work needs to be done tooptimize the speed of BCPT.IV.
 
EFFECT OF INTERFACE TRAPS ON CURRENT GAIN
 A key feature of the BCPT structure is the low work-function metal electrode employed at the emitter contactforming a metal-semiconductor junction (hafnium-silicon).Depending on the surface preparation and metal depositionmethods, there is a definite possibility of the presence of trapsat the hafnium-silicon interface due to lattice discontinuity andthe dangling bonds, not to mention inter-diffusion. These trapsare very likely to affect the electron distribution and theelectric field in this area, which in turn would affect theSALTran effect [18]. Both the acceptor and the donor type of interface traps can affect the accumulation of electrons at theinterface and thus the current gain of the BCPT.To simulate the influence of interface traps on the devicecharacteristics, we have considered a typical range of interfacetraps which may be present at the interface. In our simulationsboth the acceptor and the donor type of traps are introducedwith the trap energy level (E.level) at 0.49 eV from theconduction (or valance) band [5]. The degeneracy factor(degen) for the trap level is chosen to be 12 and the capturecross-sections for electrons (sign) and holes (sigp) are taken tobe 2.85×10
-15
cm
-2
and 2.85×10
-14
cm
-2
, respectively.Peak current gain reduces when the trap density of theacceptor (or donor) type of interface traps increases at theinterface as shown in Fig. 9 and the effect is even more severewhen both type of traps are present at the interface. This effectis also observed for a conventional SALTran BJT in [5].However, even with a trap density of 1×10
11
cm
-2
, BCPT stillmaintains a substantially high peak current gain as observed inFig. 9.V.
 
CONCLUSIONIn conclusion, we report the possibility of realizing a uniqueBipolar Charge Plasma Transistor (BCPT) made of electronand hole plasma on undoped silicon making it immune tothermal budget concerns faced by doped transistors andCMOS devices. The efficacy of the proposed concept isverified using two-dimensional numerical simulations. Oursimulation results demonstrate that the BCPT exhibits asignificantly large current gain compared to a conventionalBJT with doped regions of similar geometry. The BCPTconcept can also be applied for materials such as SiC in whichdoping is an issue or for hetero-junction bipolar transistors.This idea can be extended to an undoped silicon nanowirewith surround gate electrodes to induce the emitter, base andcollector regions making it compatible with the futurenanowire and FinFET based CMOS technology [19]. Since thecharge plasma based diode concept has already beendemonstrated experimentally [7], we believe that our resultswill provide the incentive for further experimental verificationof the BCPT concept. However, it remains to be seen whetherthe fabrication of BCPT will be cost effective, since threedifferent metals are required for the emitter, base and collectorelectrodes. The device also needs to be optimized to match thespeed performance of the commercially available lateralbipolar transistor technology.R
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[1]
 
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and
 
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