Systematic Analysis of the Small-Signal and Broadband Noise Performance of Highly Scaled Silicon-Based Field-Effect Transistors

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Venkataraman, Sunitha
Laskar, Joy
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The objective of this work is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the small-signal and broadband noise performance of highly scaled silicon-based field-effect transistors (FETs), and develop high-frequency noise models for robust radio frequency (RF) circuit design. An analytical RF noise model is developed and implemented for scaled Si-CMOS devices, using a direct extraction procedure based on the linear two-port noise theory. This research also focuses on investigating the applicability of modern CMOS technologies for extreme environment electronics. A thorough analysis of the DC, small-signal AC, and broadband noise performance of 0.18 um and 130 nm Si-CMOS devices operating at cryogenic temperatures is presented. The room temperature RF noise model is extended to model the high-frequency noise performance of scaled MOSFETs at temperatures down to 77 K and 10 K. Significant performance enhancement at cryogenic temperatures is demonstrated, indicating the suitability of scaled CMOS technologies for low temperature electronics. The hot-carrier reliability of MOSFETs at cryogenic temperatures is investigated and the worst-case gate voltage stress condition is determined. The degradation due to hot-carrier-induced interface-state creation is identified as the dominant degradation mechanism at room temperature down to 77 K. The effect of high-energy proton radiation on the DC, AC, and RF noise performance of 130 nm CMOS devices is studied. The performance degradation is investigated up to an equivalent total dose of 1 Mrad, which represents the worst case condition for many earth-orbiting and planetary missions. The geometric scaling of MOSFETs has been augmented by the introduction of novel FET designs, such as the Si/SiGe MODFETs. A comprehensive characterization and modeling of the small-signal and high-frequency noise performance of highly scaled Si/SiGe n-MODFETs is presented. The effect of gate shot noise is incorporated in the broadband noise model. SiGe MODFETs offer the potential for high-speed and low-voltage operation at high frequencies and hence are attractive devices for future RF and mixed-signal applications. This work advances the state-of-the-art in the understanding and analysis of the RF performance of highly scaled Si-CMOS devices as well as emerging technologies, such as Si/SiGe MODFETs. The key contribution of this dissertation is to provide a robust framework for the systematic characterization, analysis and modeling of the small-signal and RF noise performance of scaled Si-MOSFETs and Si/SiGe MODFETs both for mainstream and extreme-environment applications.
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