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To Study and Simulate the Electrical Characteristics of Silicon Nanowire

Transistors (SNWTs) in Analog and Digital Circuits

Saurabh Chaubey, ID no - 4877517
Final Project Report, Semiconductor Properties and Devices II, EE-5164
AbstractThis work explores the present day advancement in
the field of Silicon Nanowire Transistors (SNWTs) for sub 10nm
channel length. We show that these types of structures solve the
fundamental problem of short channel devices i.e gate control.
These structures enhance the gate control by having Gate All
Around (GAA) strategy with ultra low parasitics. We will show
that these structures will have an impressive Ion /Iof f . We will
study the electrical characteristics of the SNWTs and related
exotic structures. Also for the first time, I am trying to use the
models developed by the latest works [1-4] of these devices to
apply on basic analog and digital building blocks. I present a
basic and simple framework to predict the future performances
(in coming years) of analog and digital circuits based on these
SNWTs. I am also exploring the impact of parasitic capacitances
and resistances on the circuit performances using these devices.
According to the SPICE circuit simulations, we find that the basic
SNWT can have an instrisic DC gain of 35dB and bandwidth
of 11 GHz with a Gain-Bandwidth product of 347 GHz. The
Ft(frequency at which the transistor ceases to be an amplifier)
is found to be 1.18 THz. The digital delay (of a minimum size
inverter) is 1.3 pSec. It should be noted that the models used in
SPICE for these simulations are abstract and simplified versions
of the detailed model developed in literatures like of those [25] and are of very basic and just indicative of the performance


KeywordsSilicon Nanowire Transistors, Gate All Around,

Gate control, Analog Circuit Performances, Digital Circuit Performances, Process Mismatch, Parasitic



Conventional scaling of gate oxide thickness, source/drain

extension (SDE), junction depths, and gate lengths have enabled MOS gate dimensions to be reduced from 10mm in the
1970s to a present day size of 0.1mm. To enable transistor
scaling into the 21st century, new solutions such as high
dielectric constant materials for gate insulation and shallow,
ultra low resistivity junctions need to be developed. In this
paper, for the first time, key scaling limits are quantified
for MOS transistors . We show that traditional SiO2 gate
dielectrics will reach fundamental leakage limits, due to tunneling, for an effective electrical thickness below 2.3 nm.
Experimental data and simulations are used to show that although conventional scaling of junction depths is still possible,
increased resistance for junction depths below 30 nm results
in performance degradation. Because of these limits, it will
not be possible to further improve short channel effects. This
will result in either unacceptable off-state leakage currents or
strongly degraded device performance for gate lengths below
100um. MOS transistor limits will be reached for 0.13mm
process technologies in production during 2002. Because of
these problems, new solutions will need to be developed for
continued transistor scaling. The fundamental problems and
issues of MOSFETs beyond sub-10nm channel length are the

Fig. 1. (a) International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS)
based technology trends for scaling of MOSFETs for higher performances.
(b) Conventional scaling of MOSFETs till 2011 without use of exotic FET
structures and using standard CMOS processes.

electrostatic limits, source-to-drain tunneling, carrier mobility

degradation, process variations, and static leakage. The trend
towards ultra-short gate length MOSFETs requires a more and
more effective control of the channel by the gate leading to
new device architecture. Diverse device structures have been
recently proposed and explored, and have found better characteristics than that of single gate metal oxide semiconductor
field effect transistors (MOSFETs). For example, the double
gate MOSFETs can suppress the short-channel effects (SCEs)
and have high transconductance and ideal subthreshold swing
(SS). In order to further lower the SCEs, promising device
structure the so-called surrounding-gate nanowire FinFET were
fabricated and demonstrated fascinating device characteristic in
recent literatures. However, these structures face difficulties in
fabrication with advanced fabrication processes.
Multi-gate MOSFETs based on the concept of volume

Cross-section of Modern exotic FET structure cadidates for sub 10nm









Fig. 2. (a) Early Intel FINFEts (b) Trigate (c) Omega-Gate (d) Pi- Gate (e)
Gate All Around (GAA) (d) Crosssection of Nanowire FET (SNWTs)

inversion are widely recognized as one of the most promising

solutions for meeting the ITRS roadmap requirements. A wide
variety of multi-gate architectures, including Double-Gate
(DG), Gate-All-Around (GAA), Pi-FET and Fin Field-Effect
Transistors (FinFETs), rectangular or cylindrical nanowire
MOSFETs have been proposed in common academic/scientific
literatures. In all cases, these structures exhibit a superior
control of short channel effects resulting from an exceptional
electrostatic coupling between the conduction channel and the
surrounding gate electrode. The nanowire (NW) transistors
can be seen as the ultimate integration of the innovative
nanodevices and is one of the candidates which have gained
significant attention from both the device and circuit developers because of its potential for building highly dense
and high performance electronic circuits. Recent advances in
nanoscale fabrication techniques have shown that semiconductor nanowires may become the candidate for next generation
technologies. Si and Ge nanowire transistors are also important
because of their compatibility with the CMOS technology.

Fig. 3.

Design issues with GAA based SNWTs

Fig. 4.

Ballistic transport mechanism as explained in [7]




Fig.1 shows the the advancements in conventional MOSFET designs till 2001-2012. Fig.1 (a) shows the International
Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) based technology trends for scaling of MOSFETs for higher performances. ITRS predicts the future of industries technology for
commercial purposes. From this we can see that the industry
is expected to use MOSFETs of channel lengths of 14nm by
the end of this year (2016). Also it predicts that by year 2020
commercial requirements will be of sub-10nm MOSFETs. So
the research in the field these exotic sub 10nm devices are
very much needed. Fig 1(b) shows some the latest technology
advancements to the present day from Intel using almost
standard CMOS processes and convectional FET geometries.

Fig. 2 presents different possible candidates for short

channel MOSFETs in near future. Fig.2(a) represents the
convectional intel FINFET developed in 2008-09. This has
dual gates on the sides of the channel. Devices based this
structures are being commercially manufactures in technology
nodes of TSMC 28nm and INTEL 22nm. Fig.2(b) shows a
slight variation of FINFET called tri-gate having three gate
(along the tree sides). This has a better Gate control than
conventional FINFETs. Fig.2(c)-(d) represents the omega and
pi structures to have even better gate control and less parasitic
[6]. Finally Fig.2(d-e) show the GAA strategy for Nanowire
MOSFETs (SNWTs). Fig.3 shows the various design issues
with a modern small channel SNWTs.

We will begin by reviewing the present and popular candidates for sub-10 nm transistors. We will explore the pros and
cons of each of them. After the literature survey we will move
towards the structural details of the GAA based nano-wire
SNWTs in section III. We will see the latest research work in
the field of GAA fabrication, transport mechanism, parasitics,
noise and variability. Then we will move the abstraction of
the equations developed in earlier sections in terms of verilogA modelling. We simulated the SNWTs in both analog and
digital sub-blocks. Using the simulations I tried to predict the
circuit performance of the conventional blocks in future (when
SNWTs will be used commercially).

A. Transport Mechanism
The basic carrier transport mechanism of the nano-wire
SNWTs is fundamentally different than FINFETs. According
to [7] we see the mechanism for the channel formed under the
GAA (Gate All Around) is ballistic transport behaviour. Fig 4
shows the illustration.
As devices are scaled to the nano-scale dimension, ballistic
transport of carriers becomes increasingly important. It is
possible that the channel length is shorter than the mean
free path such that the channel carriers will not suffer from
any scattering events. However, in the quasi-ballistic regime


Ft is freq at which
(Iout/Iin)VD=0 =1
Iout Ft=Gm/(2*pi*CG)





Intrinsic Gain = GmRDS




IInd Gain Stage


Intrinsic drain
capacitor, CD

Current Biasing Resistor

Intrinsic Gate
capacitor, CG


Fig. 5.


Definition of basic analog parameters to be calculated

(LG=(10nm,100nm)) the channel length would be larger than

the mean-free-path, and the possibility of ballistic-transport for
carriers will decrease. Therefore, in this regime, conventional
transport mechanism also plays a major role. The drain current
for a device is governed by:
IDsat = Qef f .Vinj .Bsat .(VGS VT H )

INPUT Differential Stage

Fig. 6.

Circuit test bench


where Vinj and Bsat are the injection velocity and ballistic
efficiency. Eq.(1) describes how fast carriers are injected from
the source-Vinj, and how efficiently carriers will be transported
through the channel-Bsat. The more the carriers are reflected,
e.g., rc, the lower the Bsat is, as shown in Fig. 1, where rc
is the reflection coefficient, and the correlation between Bsat
and rc can be given by:
Bsat =

(1 rc )
(1 + rc )

In this work, we use a simple yet accurate approach VD,sat

method based on velocity saturation concept. From VD,sat
method, Bsat can be expressed by a compact form,
Bsat,q =

1 VD,sat


Summary of the equations used for ID vs VD are presented

in Fig.4 right.


We used the circuit parameters defined above to simulate

both analog and digital blocks. Fig 5 shows the basic performance parameter for analog circuits. Left shows the calculation
process for Ft (Transition frequency) and right shows the
calculation for DC (low frequency) gain.
Circuit topology used to the analog simulations is shown
in Fig. 6. Also Fig. 7 shows the definition of digital circuit
parameters used to simulate the values.
(Current break-up @ 0.8V, 27C)
620 ohm/um-radius
1.18 THz
Bandwidth 347 GHz
Digital Delay
2.34 pSec
Power delay product 4.56 uA-Psec




Fan-Out of 4

Definition of basic digital parameters to be calculated





Fig. 7.





We investigated different structures for sub nanometer

transistors. This work explores the present day advancement
in the field of Silicon Nanowire Transistors (SNWTs) for sub
10nm channel length. We show that these types of structures
solve the fundamental problem of short channel devices i.e gate
control. These structures enhance the gate control by having
Gate All Around (GAA) strategy with ultra low parasitics.







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