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# MOSFET I-V characteristics:

general consideration
The current through the channel
is

V
I=
R

+
-

## where V is the DRAIN SOURCE voltage

V-GS

D
Semiconductor

Here, we are assuming that V << VT (we will see why, later on)
The channel resistance, R (W is the device width):

R=

L
q n aW

L
q ns W

## The channel current is: I = V (q nS W) /L = V q W (ci/q) (VGS VT) /L

I = W ci (VGS VT) V /L
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MOSFET transconductance
In most MOSFET applications, an input signal is the gate voltage VG
and the output is the drain current Id.
The ability of MOSFET to amplify the signal is given by the
output/input ratio: the transconductance, gm = dI/dVGS.
I = W ci (VGS VT) V /L
From this:

gm = V W ci /L

## Key factors affecting FET performance (for any FET type):

I and gm

I and gm

High carrier mobility and short gate length L are the key features of FETs
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Source

Drain

Gate

2 m

3

## Drain current saturation in MOSFET

The gate length L

+
-

VGS-

D
Semiconductor

When no drain voltage V is applied, the entire channel has the same
potential as the Source, i.e. VCH = 0.
In this case, as we have seen, nS = (ci/q) (VGS VT)
where VGS is the gate source voltage and VT is the threshold voltage
When the drain voltage V is applied, the channel potential changes
from VCH = 0 on the Source side to VCH= V on the drain side.
In this case, the induced concentration in the channel also depends
on the position.
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## Drain current saturation in MOSFET

The gate length L

+
-

VGS-

D
Semiconductor

## With the drain voltage V is applied, the actual induced concentration in

any point x of the channel depends on the potential difference between
the gate and the channel potential V(x) at this point.
This is because this local potential difference defines the voltage that
charges the elementary gate channel capacitor.
On the source end of the channel (x=0, VCH=0):
nS(0) = (ci/q) (VGS VT).
On the drain end of the channel (x=L, VCH= V):
nS(L) = (ci/q) (VGS VT - V) < nS(0)
At any point between source and drain,
nS(L) < nS(x) = (ci/q) [VGS VT V(x)] < nS(0)
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## Drain current saturation in MOSFET

VGS

Semiconductor

nS

VGS > VT

Id

V=0
V1 > 0
V2 > V1
V3 = VGS-VT
L

x
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MOSFET Modeling
1. Constant mobility model
Assuming a constant electron mobility,
n, using the simple charge control
model the absolute value of the electron
velocity is given by,
dV
vn = nF = n
dx

With the gate voltage above the threshold, the drain current, Id, is given by

dV
ns
dx
Id
dV =
dx
W n ci (VGT V )
Id = Wq n

Rewriting,

Where VGT

= VGS VT.

## dV vs dx dependence represents a series connection of the elementary

parts of MOSFET channel
(for the series connection, voltages add up whereas current is the same).
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(VGT V )dV =

Id

W n ci

dx

Integrating along the channel, from x=0 (V=0) to x=L (V=VDS), we obtain:
For, VDS << VGT,
For, larger VDS ,

W n ci
Id =
VGT VDS
L
Id =

W n ci
V
VGT DS V DS
L
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Linear region
Sub-linear region

Sub-linear

## Channel pinch off and current saturation

Pinch off occurs when VG VCH = VT at the drain end;
nS (L) =0; the current Id saturates
When,

## VDS = VSAT = VGS VT

where VSAT is the saturation voltage.
From the Id V dependence,
at VDS=VSAT = VGT,
Id =

W n ci
V
VGT DS V DS
L
2

## The saturation (pinch off) current,

W n ci 2
Id = Isat =
VGT
2L
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Transconductance
Defined as

gm =

dId
dVGS V DS

From the equations for the drain current, Id, derived above, we find that

VDS ,
gm =
VGT ,

for VDS > VSAT

where

W
= n ci
L

## High transconductance is obtained with high values of

the low field electron mobility, thin gate insulator layers
(i.e., larger gate insulator capacitance ci = i/di), and
large W/L ratios.
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## 2. Velocity saturation model

In semiconductors, electric field F accelerates electrons, i.e. the drift velocity of
electron increases:

v=F

saturates

## In modern short channel devices with channel

length of the order of 1 m or less, the electric
field in the channel can easily exceed the
characteristic electric, Fs field of the velocity
saturation

vs
Fs =
n
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1.2

18

0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2

1.2
Potential (V)

16

14

12

1.2

10
8
6
4
2
0

0
0

1 2 3 4 5
Distance (m)

1 2 3 4 5
Distance (m)

## Surface Concentration (1012 1/cm2)

the electric field in the channel in the direction parallel to the semiconductorinsulator interface
dV
Id
v
=

F
=

F=
n
n
n
dx
q nns (V )W
1.4
1.2
1
0.8
0.6
1

0.4

1.2

0.2
0

1 2 3 4 5
Distance (m)

Potential, electric field, and surface electron concentration in the channel of a Si MOSFET for VDS = 1 and
1.2 V. L = 5 m, di = 200 , n = 800 cm2/Vs, VGS = 2 V, VT = 1 V.

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Once the electric field at the drain side of the channel (where the electric field
is the highest) exceeds Fs, the electron velocity saturates, leading to the current
saturation.
In short-channel MOSFETs, this occurs at the drain bias smaller than the
pinch-off voltage VDS = VGT.
Id
dV =
dx
W n ci (VGT V )

Field at drain

Saturation condition,

Id
dV
F ( L) =
x=L =
dx
W n ci (VGT VDS )

ISAT
Fs =
nci (VGT VSAT )W

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Saturation current versus gate-to-source voltage for 0.5 m gate and 5 m gate
MOSFETs. Dashed lines: constant mobility model, solid lines: velocity
saturation model.
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Isat =

gch VGT
V
1 + 1 + GT
VL

## where VL = FsL and the channel conductance gch =

q n ns W / L,
where ns=ci VGT/q

Isat =

gch VGT
V
1 + 1 + GT
VL

gch
I sat
VGT
2

W n ci 2
Id = Isat =
VGT
2L

## (Expression obtained before on slide 9)

When FS L << VGT (MOSFET with short gate or early velocity saturation):
Isat =

gch VGT
V
1 + 1 + GT
VL

I sat gch VL
(Note that gch is controlled by VGT)
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## Source and drain series resistances.

Source and drain parasitic series resistances, Rs and Rd, play an important role,
especially in short channel devices where the channel resistance is smaller.

Gate

Source

Drain

Vds= Id R s + VDS + Id R
d

VGS = Vgs Id Rs
VDS = Vds I d (Rs + Rd )

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(extrinsic)

dId
gm =
dVgs

## The intrinsic transconductance

(VGS and VDS being intrinsic
voltages)

Vds =const

dId
g mo =
dVGS V = const
DS
g mo
gm =
1 + g mo R s + gdo ( R s + Rd

## These parameters are related as

Where gd0 is the drain conductance

dI d
g do =
dVDS

VGS =const

## In the current saturation region (VDS > VSAT), gd0 0

Similarly, extrinsic drain conductance can be written as,

gd =

gdo

1 + gm o R s + g ( R s + R
do
d

)
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Isat =

gcho Vgt

## where VL = FsL and gcho = ciVgtnW/L.

160

160
140

120
Drain Current (mA)

## Drain Current (mA)

140

100
80
60
40
20

120
100
80
60
40
20

0
0

0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
Drain-to-Source Voltage (V)

0
0

0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
Drain-to-Source Voltage (V)

## MOSFET output characteristics calculated for zero parasitic

resistances and parasitic resistances of 5 . Gate length is 1 m
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VGS
S

V
D

Semiconductor

## To simulate MOSFETs in electronic circuits, we need to have models for both

the current-voltage and the capacitance-voltage characteristics.
As MOSFETs is a three terminal device, we need three capacitances: Cgs, Cgd
and Cds.
Capacitance (differential) is defined as C = dQ/dV. For example,
Cgs = dQs/dVgs (where Qs is the channel charge between S and G)
Therefore, the total channel charge QN has to be divided (partitioned) between
the source and drain charges. How should we partition QN between Qs and Qd?
It is clear from the device symmetry that at zero drain bias Qs = Qd. If the total
channel charge is QN, then Qs = 0.5 QN and Qd = 0.5 QN.
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## In the saturation regime, the charge distribution is no longer symmetrical: Qs > Qd

In this case, we let Qs = FpQN and Qd = (1 Fp)QN,
where Fp is the partitioning factor. In saturation, Fp > 0.5
The challenge using this model is to determine Fp as a function of Vgs and V
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(used in SPICE)
2

2 VGT VDS
Cgs = Ci 1
+C f
3 2VT VDS

2 VGT
Cgd = Ci 1
3 2VT VDS

+C f

## Ci = ci W L is the channel capacitance

The capacitance Cf is the fringing capacitance.

C f c s W
where c 0.5
In saturation, VDS has to be replaced by VSAT (where VSAT = VGT)
This results in

CGd SAT = Cf
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(used in SPICE)
0.7

C GS/C i

0.6

C/Ci

0.5
0.4
0.3

CGD/C i

0.2
0.1
0.0
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0 1.2

1.4

VDS/VSAT

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