Modelling and simulation study of NMOS Si nanowire transistors

Al-Ameri, Talib (2018) Modelling and simulation study of NMOS Si nanowire transistors. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Nanowire transistors (NWTs) represent a potential alternative to Silicon FinFET technology in the 5nm CMOS technology generation and beyond. Their gate length can be scaled beyond the limitations of FinFET gate length scaling to maintain superior off-state leakage current and performance thanks to better electrostatic control through the semiconductor nanowire channels by gate-all-around (GAA) architecture. Furthermore, it is possible to stack nanowires to enhance the drive current per footprint. Based on these considerations, vertically-stacked lateral NWTs have been included in the latest edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) to allow for further performance enhancement and gate pitch scaling, which are key criteria of merit for the new CMOS technology generation. However, electrostatic confinement and the transport behaviour in these devices are more complex, especially in or beyond the 5nm CMOS technology generation.
At the heart of this thesis is the model-based research of aggressively-scaled NWTs suitable for implementation in or beyond the 5nm CMOS technology generation, including their physical and operational limitations and intrinsic parameter fluctuations. The Ensemble Monte Carlo approach with Poisson-Schrödinger (PS) quantum corrections was adopted for the purpose of predictive performance evaluation of NWTs. The ratio of the major to the minor ellipsoidal cross-section axis (cross-sectional aspect ratio - AR) has been identified as a significant contributing factor in device performance. Until now, semiconductor industry players have carried out experimental research on NWTs with two different cross-sections: circular cylinder (or elliptical) NWTs and nanosheet (or nanoslab) NWTs. Each version has its own benefits and drawbacks; however, the key difference between these two versions is the cross-sectional AR. Several critical design questions, including the optimal NWT cross-sectional aspect ratio, remain unanswered. To answer these questions, the AR of a GAA NWT has been investigated in detail in this research maintaining the cross-sectional area constant. Signatures of isotropic charge distributions within Si NWTs were observed, exhibiting the same attributes as the golden ratio (Phi), the significance of which is well-known in the fields of art and architecture.
To address the gap in the existing literature, which largely explores NWT scaling using single-channel simulation, thorough simulations of multiple channels vertically-stacked NWTs have been carried out with different cross-sectional shapes and channel lengths. Contact resistance, non-equilibrium transport and quantum confinement effects have been taken into account during the simulations in order to realistically access performance and scalability.
Finally, the individual and combined effects of key statistical variability (SV) sources on threshold voltage (VT), subthreshold slope (SS), ON-current (Ion) and drain-induced barrier lowering (DIBL) have been simulated and discussed. The results indicate that the variability of NWTs is impacted by device architecture and dimensions, with a significant reduction in SV found in NWTs with optimal aspect ratios. Furthermore, a reduction in the variability of the threshold voltage has been observed in vertically-stacked NWTs due to the cancelling-out of variability in double and triple lateral channel NWTs.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Supported by funding from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Iraq and Al-Mustansiriyha University.
Keywords: Nanowire transistor, NMOS, TCAD.
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Asenov, Professor Asen
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Dr Talib Al-Ameri
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-30651
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2018 15:31
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2018 09:03
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