Strain engineered Si-Ge nanowire heterostructures and Josephson junction field-effect transistors for logic device applications




Wen, Feng, 1992-

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There has been relentless effort on the physical scaling of silicon (Si) metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) in pursuit of higher computing power in the past decades. Silicon and germanium (Ge) based nanowires are compatible with the standard Si process and promising for the ultimately scaled devices, by allowing the gate-all-around geometry and integration of strain engineering through radial heterostructures to address device-scaling limitations. In the first part of the thesis, advances in probing the strain of radial nanowire heterostructures and carrier mobility enhancement through strain engineering are presented. We present a sequence of structural characterization techniques for Ge-Si [subscript x] Ge [subscript 1-x] and Si-Si [subscript x] Ge [subscript 1-x] core-shell nanowires that extends to all types of Si-Ge radial nanowire heterostructures examined in the thesis. We combine planar and cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy to identify the crystal structure, orientation and morphology of the nanowire heterostructures. We then apply continuum elasticity model to calculate the strain distribution, which coupled with the lattice dynamic theory yields the Ge-Ge or Si-Si Raman modes under strain, showing good agreement with the experimental values acquired via Raman spectroscopy. We also study the electrical properties of Si [subscript x] Ge [subscript 1-x]-Si core-shell nanowires by fabricating and characterizing n-type MOSFETs, and show that the tensile strain in the Si shell leads to a 40% electron mobility enhancement compared to bare Si nanowire MOSFETs. Additionally, we demonstrate both n-type and p-type MOSFETs using Si [subscript x] Ge [subscript 1-x]-Ge-Si core-double-shell nanowires as channel, designed so that holes populate the Ge shell and electrons populate the Si shell, with mobility enhancement of both carriers thanks to the compressive and tensile strain in the respective region. We also extract the valence band offset from the decoupled hole transport in the two shells at low temperature, overcoming the issue that most techniques available to probe the band structure in planar heterostructures are not promptly applicable. Reducing the operation temperature provides an additional path for system optimization in addition to the shrinking of device geometry. In the second part of the thesis, we explore a Boolean logic device suitable for cryogenic computing. We execute a combined effort of modeling and experimental characterization to examine the feasibility of Josephson junction field-effect transistors (JJ-FETs) for logic device applications at low temperatures. JJ-FETs are similar to MOSFETs, with their source and drain electrodes being superconducting at the operation temperature. We develop a compact model for JJ-FETs operating in the short ballistic regime, and perform circuit level simulations to investigate the criteria of signal restoration and fan-out for JJ-FET logic gates. We also experimentally demonstrate the operation of JJ-FETs based on an InAs quantum well heterostructure platform. We perform self-consistent Poisson-Schrödinger simulations, finding different gate voltage regimes where carriers populate one or more subbands in different vertical positions of the heterostructure. Furthermore, we extend the short ballistic model to interpret the experimental data, and discuss the impact of a low oxide/channel interface quality on the implementation of practical JJ-FET logic devices.


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