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1. Problem. Consider a sample of silicon at T = 300 K. Assume that the electron

concentration varies linearly from n(0) at x = 0 to 5 1014 cm3 at x = 0.01 cm.

The diusion current density is measured to be jn = 0.19 A/cm2 . Knowing the

electron diusion constant, Dn = 25 cm2 /s, determine the electron concentration

n(0) at x =0.

Solution. The electron diusion current density is given by Eq. (89) of the Notes:

dn

jn,dif f = eDn . (1)

dx

In our case:

dn 5 1014 n(0)

e 25 = e 25 = 0.19 . (2)

dx 0.01

Solving for n(0):

0.19 0.01

n(0) = 5 1014 = 2.5 1013 cm3 . (3)

1.6 1019 25

= 0. Assume for the recombination lifetime of both electrons and holes n =

p = 2 107 s. Assume also that the sample is under illumination resulting in a

constant and spatially uniform generation rate of electron-hole pairs G = 2 1021

cm3 /s. Finally, assume T = 300 K.

(a) Calculate the steady-state electron density.

(b) Assuming for the electron and hole mobilities n = 8,500 cm2 /Vs and p = 400

cm2 /Vs, respectively, calculate the change in conductivity due to the illumination.

Solution. The steady-state electron density can be obtained from Eq. (85) of

the Notes noting that the sample is p-type, so in absence of illumination n 0,

so that n n:

dn n

= G . (4)

dt n

(a) At steady-state dn/dt = 0, so:

1

(b) The conductivity in the dark can be evaluated recalling that n 0 and using

Eq. (1) above:

dark = ep p = e 400 1016 . (6)

4 1014 cm3 :

= light dark =

(8)

3. Problem. A Si p-n junction has ND = 1018 cm3 and NA = 1016 cm3 . The

junction area is 100 m2 . Calculate the junction (depletion) capacitance in the

absence of any applied bias.

Solution. The depletion capacitance is given by Eq. (184) of the Lecture Notes:

s A

Cdepl = . (9)

W

The width of the depletion region given by Eq. (183) of the notes requires the

knowledge of the built-in potential:

kB T NA ND

Vbi = ln = 0.0258 ln(5 1013 ) = 0.814 V . (10)

e n2i

1/2

2 11.7 8.85 1014 0.814 1.01 1018

W = = 0.325 m . (11)

1.6 1019 1034

So, nally:

Cdepl = = 3.19 1014 F = 31.9 fF . (12)

3.25 10 5

2

4. Problem. The current trends in VLSI technology also demand reduced applied

biases (i.e., a smaller Va ). Without doing any calculation, do you think that the

strictest breakdown limitations for p-n junctions will be due to impact ionization

or to Zener tunneling?

Solution. Zener tunneling will dominate, since the energy threshold for impact-

ionization is EG , while for Zener tunneling is EG eVbi , where Vbi is the built-in

potential of the drain/body junction in a MOSFET.

5. Problem. (a) Consider an SiO2 gate insulator of thickness tox . Using Eqns.

(231) and (232) of the Lecture Notes, estimate the oxide thickness tox at which

the direct-tunneling current at Fox = 0 (Eq. (231)) equals the Fowler-Nordheim

tunneling current (Eq. (232)) at Fox = 107 V/cm. [Use mox = 0.5m0 , where m0

is the free electron mass, and eB = 3.2 eV].

(b) Based on this result and considering that the current VLSI technology requires

ever thinner SiO22 lms, now approaching 1 nm, which of the two components

of the tunneling current (direct or FN) is more important today? For your con-

venience, below are the equations mentioned above: The direct tunneling current is

proportional to:

4(2emox )1/2 3/2 2(2mox eB )1/2

Pd exp B [1 (1 tox Fox /B )]3/2 exp tox

hFox

3 h

= e2 tox

, (231)

4(2emox )1/2 3/2

PF N exp B = = e(4/3) zt

, (232)

3hFox

Solution. (a) The direct tunneling current, Eq. (231) will be equal to the FN

tunneling current, Eq. (232) when:

which implies:

2 B

tox = 2.1 nm . (234)

3 Fox

3

(b) Clearly, since the thickness of the gate oxide is now much smaller than the

result of Eq. (234), direct tunneling is becoming the most important component

of the gate tunneling current.

6. Bonus Problem. The limit of low injection is usually dened to be the value of

the forward bias required to have a concentration of the minority carriers at the

edge of the depletion region in the low-doped side of the junction equal to 1/10

of the concentration of majority carriers in that region. Determine the value of

forward bias at which the low-injection limit is reached for a p+ -n Ge diode at

T = 300 K with ND = 1016 cm3 , NA = 1018 cm3 , Use for the intrinsic carrier

concentration of Ge at 300 k the value of 2.5 1013 cm3 .

Solution. By denition we must have:

1

p(xn ) = n(xn ) , (235)

10

since the low-doped side of the junction is the n-type side. Since p(xn ) =

pn0 exp[eVa /(kB T )] and n(xn ) = xn0 = ND , we must have at the onset of strong

injection:

Va 1

pn0 exp = ND , (236)

0.0258 10

where, as usual, Va is measured in V. Recalling that pn0 = n2i /ND , solving for Va :

kB T ND

Va = ln = 0.0258 ln(1.6 104 ) = 0.25 V . (237)

e 10 pn0

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