# The Sub-Micron MOS Transistor -

The Sub-Micron MOS Transistor q Subthreshold
Conduction
q Threshold Variations
q Parasitic Resistances
Subthreshold Conduction
Current does not drop abruptly to 0 at VGS =VT. The device is partly conducting -&gt;
subthreshold conduction or weak-inversion conduction. Current decays in an
exponential fashion for VGS&lt; VT (similar to a bipolar transistor – in essence, in
the absence of a conducting channel, the n+ (source)-p (bulk)-n+ (drain)
terminals actually form a parasitic bipolar transistor. The current in this region is
approximated by:
-2
V DS


1 − e kT / q (1 + λVDS )




Linear
-4
10
-6
10
ID (A)
I D = IS e
VGS
nkT / q
10
-8
10
-10
Exponential
-12
VT
10
10
0
0.5
1
1.5
VGS(V)
2
2.5
Sub-Threshold Conduction
Typically, we prefer that the current drop as fast as possible once V GS &lt; VT . The rate of decline of
the current at VGS &lt; VT is a quality measure of a device =&gt; well known as subthreshold slope
factor (S). This factor can be quantified as
 kT 
S = n  ln(10)
 q 
By how much does V GS have to be reduced for an order of
magnitude reduction in drain current (mV/decade)?
S=60mV/decade = sharpest possible roll-off (n=1). Roll-off is reduced as temp. increases. Typical
values are in the 90mV/decade range. Immediate problems due to subthreshold leakage exist in
dynamic circuits and memory, which reply on the storage of charge on a capacitor.
-2
10
Linear
-4
10
-6
ID (A)
10
-8
10
-10
Exponential
-12
VT
10
10
0
0.5
1
VGS (V)
1.5
2
2.5
Threshold Variations
VT
Long-channel threshold
L
Threshold as a function of
the length (for low VDS)
VT
Low VDSthreshold
VDS
Drain-induced barrier lowering
(for low L)
Typically, the channel depletion region is solely due to the applied gate voltage, and that all depletion charge
beneath the gate originates from the MOS field effects. This ignores the depletion regions of the source and
reverse-biased drain junction, which become important with shrinking channel lengths. Since a part of the
region below the gate is already depleted (by the source and drain fields), a smaller threshold voltage suffices
to cause strong inversion. Thus, V T0 decreases with L for short-channel devices. A similar effect is obtained by
raising the V DS, as this increases the width of the drain-junction depletion region. Consequently, V T decreases
with increasing VDS. The effect is known as drain-induced barrier lowering (DIBL), causing V T to be a function of
VDS. For high enough values of V D, the source and drain regions can even be shorted together, and normal
device operation ceases to exist. The sharp increase in current that results from this effect is called
punchthrough. It defines an upper bound of V DS that can be applied to a device, before causing permanent
damage to the device.
Hot Carriers
Due to scaling of device dimensions, while the power supply and operating
voltages have not scaled accordingly, has resulted in large electrical fields. This
has caused an increase in the electrons’ velocity, which can leave the silicon
and tunnel into the gate oxide upon reaching a sufficiently high level of energy.
Electrons trapped in the oxide change the threshold voltage (increasing VT for
NMOS devices). For an electron to become hot, an electrical field of at least 104
V/cm is necessary. This condition is easily met in submicron devices.
The channel hot electrons effect is mainly caused by electrons flowing in the
channel region, from source to drain. This effect is more pronounced at large
VDS, as which the lateral electric field in the drain end of the channel accelerates
the electrons. The electrons arriving at the Si-SiO2 interface with enough kinetic
energy to surmount the surface potential barrier are injected into the oxide.
Process Variations
W
T
H=ILD
S
Ground plane
Year
Leff
Tox
Vdd
Vt
W
H
ρ
1997
32
8
10
10
25
25
22
1999
33
8
10
10
26
33
24
2002
35
10
10
10
28
30
27
2005
40
12
10
12
30
34
32
2006
47
16
10
14
33
36
33
% variation from mean value
Process Variations
Example: Minimum sized NMOS device in 0.25&micro;m CMOS technology.
VGS=VDS=2.5V =&gt; ID= 220&micro;A.
Using fast &amp; slow models, modify the length and width by &plusmn;10%, threshold
&plusmn;60mV, and oxide thickness &plusmn;5%.
Thus for fast: ID = 265&micro;A: +20%
slow: ID = 182&micro;A: -17%
Spice Model for the MOS Transistor
q
Several MOS Models have been developed
q
Model complexity is a trade-off between accuracy and simulator run time
In SPICE, model complexity is set by LEVEL parameter
Level 1: spice model is based on long channel MOS I-V equation (no longer used)
Level 2: geometry, physics based. Handles short channel effects (e.g., velocity
saturation) – however too complex
Level 3: semi-empirical model (mix of analytical and empirical expressions)
Level 4: empirical model based on extracted values from experimental data (widely
used)
q
q
q
q
q
q
Several other models are available: virtually every semiconductor fab has a
model development group
Technology Scaling
Ever since ICs were invented, dimensions are scaled to:
q Integrate more devices in the same die area
q Allow higher operational speed
Scaling has profound impact on many aspects of ICs
Constant Voltage Scaling
q All device dimensions are scaled by a factor S. This method of scaling was
followed till 0.8 micron. For lower geometries, higher electric field resulted in
poor device reliability.
q Therefore, for advanced technologies today “Constant Field Scaling” is
followed:
Constant Field Scaling