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International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering

Website: (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 4, Issue 6, June 2014)

Reduced Surface Field Technology For LDMOS: A Review

Sunitha HD1, Keshaveni N2

Assistant Professor, Department of ECE, EPCET, Bangalore

Professor,Department of ECE,KVG College of Engineering, Sullia

Abstract-- RESURF (Reduced Surface Field) technology is

the frequently used method to design a high voltage lateral
devices with high break down voltage and low on-resistance.
Devices working on higher voltages require thick and low
doped epitaxial layer, which makes them difficult to get
integrated with low voltage circuitry. Because of high
resistivity, the on- resistance of the epitaxial layer is large.
RESURF concept gives the best tradeoff between the break
down voltage and on-resistance of lateral devices. This paper
gives a technical review of RESURF concept used for LDMOS
and also discusses about multiple RESURF technology.


Appels and Vaes proposed the first RESURF concept in
the year 1979[1]. The frequently used method to design
high voltage devices on thin epitaxial layer with low onresistance is the RESURF. The RESURF concept [2] gives
the best trade-off between the breakdown voltage and the
on-resistance of lateral devices .It has been successfully
used for lateral high voltage devices such as diodes and
LDMOS transistors for 20-1200V. This technology
provides an efficient way to integrate high voltage devices
with low voltage circuitry [2]. Devices working on higher
voltage require thick and low doped epitaxial layer, which
makes them difficult to get integrated with low voltage
circuitry. Because of high resistivity epi layer, onresistance is large. The traditional RESURF structure is
constructed by a lateral p+/ n diode that defines the onresistance characteristics of the device and a vertical p/ n
diode that supports a charge depletion region enabling high
Figure 1 defines the on-resistance characteristics of the
device and a vertical diode which supports a space charge
depletion region enabling increased break down voltage.
The lateral break down voltage of this structure depends on
net charge of the drift region. The maximum BV is
determined by the BV of the vertical diode (p-substrate/nepitaxial).

Keywords- Break down voltage (BV), LDMOS (Laterally

Diffused Metal Oxide Semiconductor), on-resistance(Ron),

High power devices are the common building blocks in
RF and microwave communication systems. Mobile
phones, base stations and satellite systems all depend on
such high power amplifiers. CMOS technology has been
widely used in RF circuits for low cost and easy integration
of both logic circuits and RF circuits on the same chip. For
the large signal capability requirement in power amplifier,
high break down voltage and reliable transistors are
preferred which is a big challenge for CMOS technology.
LDMOS device becomes a good candidate for power
amplifier circuits with faster switching speed, high
breakdown voltage and low on resistance .LDMOS uses
RESURF technology to achieve high break down voltage
and low on resistance. The break down voltage of LDMOS
can be improved by increasing the drift length(Ld).
However this also increases the on resistance as per the
Ron Ld2 /Qepi


Qepi in equation (1) represents the doping dose of the

epitaxial layer. By increasing the doping dose of the
epitaxial layer the BV can be increased and Ron can be

Fig 1-Lateral RESURF structure at full depletion(google)

Net charge in this region is inversely proportional to the

drift region resistance. Because of vertical junction of
RESURF structure a second electric field peak forms at
cathode end of the device.


International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering

Website: (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 4, Issue 6, June 2014)
Lateral improvement was obtained by adding lateral
gradation in the RESURF. Stepping field plates[5](fig 4a)
were applied for enhanced depletion at the source side end
on thick 2-3m oxide for reduced high fields at the end of
field plate leading to LDMOS up to 1200V.
A local buried p-layer [6](fig 4b) provides a graded
RESURF pinching from the substrate side. An epitaxial
dose of 2.1*1012/cm2was allowed that resulted in
Ron*A=5.6mm2 for 400V.
Vertical improvement was achieved by using enhanced
depletion by field plates or by vertically profiled layers
allowing more charge. This resulted in double acting
RESURF[5] with a p-layer on top of the n-layer for lower
Ron and high voltage operation of RESURF devices.

Fig 2- Electric field comparison at the surface(google)

Figure 2 shows the electric field at the surface of the

RESURF device. It assumes a parabolic form. This helps to
reduce electric field at the surface of device during off. The
basic properties of RESURF structures are determined by
the p-substrate doping concentration, n-epilayer doping
concentration (Nepi) and n-epi layer thickness (tnepi). An
approximate net charge Qn of fig 1 is determined by
Qn=Nepi * tnepi


The lateral electric field is reduced as the vertical space

charge width extends and interacts with lateral junction
space charge region allowing the lateral depletion width to
effectively span a larger distance. For high break down
voltage in RESURF structures, the n-epi region is to be
fully depleted before the lateral electric field reaches a
critical value.
The most important RESURF device is the LDMOS
transistor used from 20V to 1200V. The epitaxial RESURF
was first used for a 425V LDMOS with Ron of 9.4mm2

Fig 4- Improved Resurf LDMOS (a) with stepped field plate;(b) with
local buried p-layer;(c) double layer with dotted p-layer of double

The top p-layer of an LDMOS must be interrupted to

allow the current flow from surface inversion channel to
the drift region(fig 4c). By doing this, devices upto 1200V
have been realized with 2*10 12cm-2 n-layer dose and dose
tolerance of +/-20% for 80% of BV max[7]. A continuous
p-layer on top and a vertical link under the polysilicon gate
between the sources like in VDMOS has been maintained
resulting in 2.4*1012/cm-2for 880V. To prevent high side
punch through a local n+ buried layer has been used.

Fig 3-HV LDMOS-Epitaxial Resurf [5-6]

The thicker RESURF layer allows for higher break down

for bipolar and high side devices. RESURF dose can be
controlled by a deep N-well implanted in lightly doped nepitaxy or directly into the p-substrate.
Improvement was obtained in 2 ways: vertically and

For the optimization of the BV and Ron many analytical

models have been studied. Some first order equations are
used to estimate the BV and specific Ron for the active


International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering

Website: (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 4, Issue 6, June 2014)
The n-/p- dope and thickness gives the maximum break
down voltage vertically under the n+ contact. Lateral break
down at shorter drift length is calculated by the integration
of the lateral field having peaks at p+ and n+ regions and
lower field in between. A constant average field of 1015V/m is estimated. BV is dependent on drift length
between body and drain.

A better (Ron*A) at 800V[10] from 24(double RESURF)

to 16mm2 and 11 to 7mm2 at 550v is obtained by using
a dual path sandwich layer with intermediate p-layer.
RESURF effect can also be achieved in multiple
junction devices where an additional layer of opposite
doping is incorporated in n-drift region. The epitaxial layer
of a multiple RESURF LDMOS can be more heavily
doping for same BV as compared with single RESURF
LDMOS. Multiple RESURF LDMOS[11] provides a
superior performance in the compromise of high BV and
low Ron.
Double RESURF LDMOS[11] helps to reduce Ron by
about 50% lower than single RESURF LDMOS.


Figure 5 shows the measured examples for epitaxial

RESURF LDMOS with various Ldrift and an effective Rsh of
4-5ohm/sq. Also (Ron*A) is proportional to BV2.
Ron consists of channel , drift and spread resistance. At
increasing Vds maximum current is limited by the current
limiting JFET behavior of the drift region.
Ron * A~Rsh..(BV/Elat)2


Recent investigations revealed some improved ( Ron*A)

versus BV and improved ruggedness.

Fig 6- cross section of double RESURF LDMOS[11]

Figure 6 the shows structure of double RESURF

LDMOS. P-type top layer (p-tl) is located on the surface of
the drift region. It gives an excellent performance in the
compromise of BV and Ron. One disadvantage is that the
Ron increases drastically if the distance between p-tl and pwell is not kept large enough to avoid high JFET resistance.
Further there may be charge sharing problems during

Fig 5-Resurf LDMOS data for BV ,Ron*W versus Ldrift and Ron*A
versus BV[2]

A better on state BV[8] is provided by a graded drift

dope, lower Ron at slightly lower off state BV. Improved (
Ron*A) at 760V from 33 to 26mm2 is obtained[9] by a
more elaborated stepped field plate with poly and2x metal
with a narrow gap and HV stability is also improved.

Fig 7- cross section of triple RESURF LDMOS[11]

Figure 7 shows the structure of a triple RESURF

LDMOS[11]. It has a p-type buried layer (p-bl) located in
the drift region. Therefore it will not be affected by


International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering

Website: (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 4, Issue 6, June 2014)
The relationship between Ron and BV is shown in fig 9,
which explains that, by changing Ld, p-tl length(Xtl) and Xbl
under the precondition that BV is linearly proportional to
Ld. The lower slope explains that the triple RESURF
LDMOS promises a better performance of a lower Ron in a
wide range of BV. BV ranging from 300 t0 700V can be
obtained by altering Ld and Xbl.
High BV and low Ron makes the RESURF devices
desirable for use in HVIC technologies. RESURF devices
suffer from the unique requirement of charge control.
Variations on charge control may lead to a lower BV. BV
modulation and charge balance sensitivity are especially
critical for double RESURF LDMOS. A triple RESURF
LDMOS has achieved on resistance of 100m-cm2 and BV
of 700V where as it is 30% lesser in double RESURF
LDMOS. To overcome the sensitivity of the BV to
variations in the vertical dimensions strict process tolerance
control is required during diffusion and implantation

Fig 8- relationship b/w BV and Nepi [11]

Figure 8 shows the relationship between BV and N-epi

doping concentration with p-tl and p-bl dose variations for
double and triple RESURF LDMOS. At any given p-tl(Qtl)
or p-bl(Qbl), the BV has a bell shaped pattern with a plateau
while doping concentration on N-epi varies comparatively
allows a larger Qepi. Since p-bl is located in the drift region
there are 3 parallel p/n junctions in the vertical direction.
When the drain electrode is applied with high voltage 2
junctions close to p-bl will deplete it vertically from top
and bottom. Compared to double RESURF LDMOS with
only one pn junction close to p-tl in the vertical direction, it
can deplete more completely and value of Qepi can be
increased. Therefore a better performance of Ron can be
achieved. The main problem occurring in triple RESURF
LDMOS is that the BV is very sensitive to the vertical
dimensions of the p-bl. If the implantation depth or
diffusion thickness of the buried layer fluctuates slightly
from the optimal value the block characteristics will
deteriorate and this requires high process tolerance.


J. A. Appels and H. M. J. Vaes, ``HV Thin Layer Devices (RESURF

Devices),'' in Proc. Intl. Electron Devices Meeting, pp. 238-241,
[2] A. W. Ludikhuize, ``A Review of RESURF
[3] A.W.Ludikhuize, Performance and Innovative trends in RESURF
Technology, Solid State Device Research conference, 2001, pp 3544.
[4] K.Awane et al, HV DSA MOS for EL-display, ISSCC-78 p.224225.
[5] A.Ludikhuize, HV DMOS and PMOS in analog ICs , IEDM80,p.81-84
[6] E.Stupp,et al, Low-R 400V LDMOS ,IEDM-81,p.426
[7] A.Ludikhuize, A versatile 700/1200V IC process, IEEE-TED38(1991),p.1582-1589
[8] P.Hower et al, Drift gradient , ISPSD-2000,p.345-348
[9] N.Fujishima et al, F-plate, ISPSD-01,p.255-258
[10] D.Disney et al, Dual path, ISPSD-01,p.399-402
[11] Yin Shan et al , Design of 700V triple RESURF LDMOS with low
on resistance, 2011, Journal of Semiconductors, vol 32,

Fig 9- Relationship b/w Ron and BV[11]