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Quantum Transport in a Silicon Nanowire FET Transistor: Hot Electrons and Local Power Dissipation

Antonio Martinez Muniz Orcid Logo, John Barker

Materials, Volume: 13, Issue: 15, Start page: 3326

Swansea University Author: Antonio Martinez Muniz Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.3390/ma13153326

Abstract

A review and perspective is presented of the classical, semi-classical and fully quantum routes to the simulation of electro-thermal phenomena in ultra-scaled silicon nanowire field-effect transistors. It is shown that the physics of ultra-scaled devices requires at least a coupled electron quantum...

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Published in: Materials
ISSN: 1996-1944
Published: MDPI AG 2020
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa55115
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Abstract: A review and perspective is presented of the classical, semi-classical and fully quantum routes to the simulation of electro-thermal phenomena in ultra-scaled silicon nanowire field-effect transistors. It is shown that the physics of ultra-scaled devices requires at least a coupled electron quantum transport semi-classical heat equation model outlined here. The importance of the local density of states (LDOS) is discussed from classical to fully quantum versions. It is shown that the minimal quantum approach requires self-consistency with the Poisson equation and that the electronic LDOS must be determined within at least the self-consistent Born approximation. To bring in this description and to provide the energy resolved local carrier distributions it is necessary to adopt the non-equilibrium Green function (NEGF) formalism, briefly surveyed here. The NEGF approach describes quantum coherent and dissipative transport, Pauli exclusion and non-equilibrium conditions inside the device. There are two extremes of NEGF used in the community. The most fundamental is based on coupled equations for the Green functions electrons and phonons that are computed at the atomically resolved level within the nanowire channel and into the surrounding device structure using a tight binding Hamiltonian. It has the advantage of treating both the non-equilibrium heat flow within the electron and phonon systems even when the phonon energy distributions are not described by a temperature model. The disadvantage is the grand challenge level of computational complexity. The second approach, that we focus on here, is more useful for fast multiple simulations of devices important for TCAD (Technology Computer Aided Design). It retains the fundamental quantum transport model for the electrons but subsumes the description of the energy distribution of the local phonon sub-system statistics into a semi-classical Fourier heat equation that is sourced by the local heat dissipation from the electron system. It is shown that this self-consistent approach retains the salient features of the full-scale approach. For focus, we outline our electro-thermal simulations for a typical narrow Si nanowire gate all-around field-effect transistor. The self-consistent Born approximation is used to describe electron-phonon scattering as the source of heat dissipation to the lattice. We calculated the effect of the device self-heating on the current voltage characteristics. Our fast and simpler methodology closely reproduces the results of a more fundamental compute-intensive calculations in which the phonon system is treated on the same footing as the electron system. We computed the local power dissipation and “local lattice temperature” profiles. We compared the self-heating using hot electron heating and the Joule heating, i.e., assuming the electron system was in local equilibrium with the potential. Our simulations show that at low bias the source region of the device has a tendency to cool down for the case of the hot electron heating but not for the case of Joule heating. Our methodology opens the possibility of studying thermoelectricity at nano-scales in an accurate and computationally efficient way. At nano-scales, coherence and hot electrons play a major role. It was found that the overall behaviour of the electron system is dominated by the local density of states and the scattering rate. Electrons leaving the simulated drain region were found to be far from equilibrium.
Keywords: silicon nanowires; nano-transistors; quantum transport; hot electrons; self-cooling; nano-cooling; thermoelectricity; heat equation; non-equilibrium Green functions; power dissipation
College: College of Engineering
Issue: 15
Start Page: 3326