Field-effect transistor

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Cross-sectional view of a field-effect transistor, showing source, gate and drain terminals FET cross section.png
Cross-sectional view of a field-effect transistor, showing source, gate and drain terminals

The field-effect transistor (FET) is an electronic device which uses an electric field to control the flow of current. FETs are devices with three terminals: source, gate, and drain. FETs control the flow of current by the application of a voltage to the gate, which in turn alters the conductivity between the drain and source.

Electronics physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter

Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter.

Electric field Vector field representing the Coulomb force per unit charge that would be exerted on a test charge at each point due to other electric charges

An electric field surrounds an electric charge, and exerts force on other charges in the field, attracting or repelling them. Electric field is sometimes abbreviated as E-field. The electric field is defined mathematically as a vector field that associates to each point in space the force per unit of charge exerted on an infinitesimal positive test charge at rest at that point. The SI unit for electric field strength is volt per meter (V/m). Newtons per coulomb (N/C) is also used as a unit of electric field strength. Electric fields are created by electric charges, or by time-varying magnetic fields. Electric fields are important in many areas of physics, and are exploited practically in electrical technology. On an atomic scale, the electric field is responsible for the attractive force between the atomic nucleus and electrons that holds atoms together, and the forces between atoms that cause chemical bonding. Electric fields and magnetic fields are both manifestations of the electromagnetic force, one of the four fundamental forces of nature.

Electric current flow of electric charge

An electric current is the rate of flow of electric charge past a point or region. An electric current is said to exist when there is a net flow of electric charge through a region. In electric circuits this charge is often carried by electrons moving through a wire. It can also be carried by ions in an electrolyte, or by both ions and electrons such as in an ionized gas (plasma).

Contents

FETs are also known as unipolar transistors since they involve single-carrier-type operation. That is, FETs use electrons or holes as charge carriers in their operation, but not both. Many different types of field effect transistors exist. Field effect transistors generally display very high input impedance at low frequencies. The most widely used field-effect transistor is the MOSFET (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor).

In physics, a charge carrier is a particle or quasiparticle that is free to move, carrying an electric charge, especially the particles that carry electric charges in electrical conductors. Examples are electrons, ions and holes. In a conducting medium, an electric field can exert force on these free particles, causing a net motion of the particles through the medium; this is what constitutes an electric current. In conducting media, particles serve to carry charge:

In electronics, high impedance means that a point in a circuit allows a relatively small amount of current through, per unit of applied voltage at that point. High impedance circuits are low current and potentially high voltage, whereas low impedance circuits are the opposite. Numerical definitions of "high impedance" vary by application.

MOSFET Transistor used for amplifying or switching electronic signals.

The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET), also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor (MOS transistor, or MOS), is a type of field-effect transistor that is fabricated by the controlled oxidation of a semiconductor, typically silicon. It has an insulated gate, whose voltage determines the conductivity of the device. This ability to change conductivity with the amount of applied voltage can be used for amplifying or switching electronic signals. The MOSFET is the basic building block of modern electronics. Since its invention by Mohamed Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in November 1959, the MOSFET has become the most widely manufactured device in history, with an estimated total of 13 sextillion (1.3 × 1022) MOS transistors manufactured between 1960 and 2018.

History

Julius Edgar Lilienfeld proposed the concept of a field-effect transistor in 1925. Julius Edgar Lilienfeld (1881-1963).jpg
Julius Edgar Lilienfeld proposed the concept of a field-effect transistor in 1925.

The concept of a field-effect transistor (FET) was first patented by Austro-Hungarian physicist Julius Edgar Lilienfeld in 1925 and by Oskar Heil in 1934, but they were unable to build a working practical semiconducting device based on the concept. The transistor effect was later observed and explained by the team of William Shockley at Bell Labs in 1947, shortly after the 17-year patent expired. Shockley initially attempted to build a working FET, by trying to modulate the conductivity of a semiconductor, but was unsuccessful, mainly due to problems with the surface states, the dangling bond, and the germanium and copper compound materials. In the course of trying to understand the mysterious reasons behind their failure to build a working FET, this led them to instead inventing the bipolar point-contact and junction transistors. [1] [2]

Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Austro-Hungarian physicist

Julius Edgar Lilienfeld was an Austro-Hungarian American physicist and electical engineer, credited with the first patents on the field-effect transistor (FET) (1925) and electrolytic capacitor (1931). Because of his failure to publish articles in learned journals and because high-purity semiconductor materials were not available yet, his FET patent never achieved fame, causing confusion for later inventors.

Oskar Heil German electrical engineer

Oskar Heil was a German electrical engineer and inventor. He studied physics, chemistry, mathematics, and music at the Georg-August University of Göttingen and was awarded his PhD in 1933, for his work on molecular spectroscopy.

A semiconductor device is an electronic component that exploits the electronic properties of semiconductor material, principally silicon, germanium, and gallium arsenide, as well as organic semiconductors. Semiconductor devices have replaced vacuum tubes in most applications. They use electrical conduction in the solid state rather than the gaseous state or thermionic emission in a vacuum.

The first FET device to be successfully built was the junction field-effect transistor (JFET). [1] A JFET was first patented by Heinrich Welker in 1945. [3] The static induction transistor (SIT), a type of JFET with a short channel, was invented by Japanese engineers Jun-ichi Nishizawa and Y. Watanabe in 1950. Following Shockley's theoretical treatment on the JFET in 1952, a working practical JFET was built by George F. Dacey and Ian M. Ross in 1953. [4] However, the JFET still had issues affecting junction transistors in general. [5] Junction transistors were relatively bulky devices that were difficult to manufacture on a mass-production basis, which limited them to a number of specialised applications. Non-junction FETs were theorized as potential alternatives to junction transistors, but researchers could not get non-junction FETs to work properly, largely due to the troublesome surface state barrier that prevented the external electric field from penetrating into the material. [5]

Heinrich Johann Welker was a German theoretical and applied physicist who invented the "transistron", a transistor made at Westinghouse independently of the first successful transistor made at Bell Laboratories. He did fundamental work in III-V compound semiconductors, and paved the way for microwave semiconductor elements and laser diodes.

Static induction transistor (SIT) is a high power, high frequency transistor device. It is a vertical structure device with short multichannel. Being a vertical device, the SIT structure offers advantages in obtaining higher breakdown voltages than a field-effect transistor (FET). For the SIT, it is not limited by the surface breakdown between gate and drain, and can operate at a very high current and voltage.

Jun-ichi Nishizawa was a Japanese engineer and inventor. He is known for his electronic inventions since the 1950s, including the PIN diode, static induction transistor, static induction thyristor, semiconductor laser, SIT/SITh, and fiber-optic communication. His inventions contributed to the development of internet technology and the information age.

MOSFET

Atalla1963.png
Dawon Kahng.jpg
Mohamed Atalla (left) and Dawon Kahng (right) invented the MOSFET (MOS field-effect transistor) in 1959.

A breakthrough in FET research came with the work of Egyptian engineer Mohamed Atalla in the late 1950s. [2] He investigated the surface properties of silicon semiconductors at Bell Labs, where he adopted a new method of semiconductor device fabrication, coating a silicon wafer with an insulating layer of silicon oxide, so that electricity could reliably penetrate to the conducting silicon below, overcoming the surface states that prevented electricity from reaching the semiconducting layer. This is known as surface passivation, a method that became critical to the semiconductor industry as it made possible the mass-production of silicon integrated circuits. [6] [7] Building on his surface passivation method, he developed the metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) process, [6] which he presented in 1957. [8] He later proposed the MOS process could be used to build the first working silicon FET, which he began working on building with the help of his Korean colleague Dawon Kahng. [6]

Mohamed Atalla mechanical engineer

Mohamed Atalla was an Egyptian-American engineer, physical chemist, cryptographer, inventor, and entrepreneur. His pioneering work in semiconductor technology laid the foundations for modern electronics. Most importantly, his invention of the MOSFET in 1959, along with his earlier surface passivation and thermal oxidation processes, revolutionized the electronics industry. He is also known as the founder of the data security company Atalla Corporation, which he founded after he invented the first hardware security module (HSM) in 1972. He received the Stuart Ballantine Medal and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his important contributions to semiconductor technology as well as data security.

Silicon Chemical element with atomic number 14

Silicon is a chemical element with the symbol Si and atomic number 14. It is a hard and brittle crystalline solid with a blue-grey metallic lustre; and it is a tetravalent metalloid and semiconductor. It is a member of group 14 in the periodic table: carbon is above it; and germanium, tin, and lead are below it. It is relatively unreactive. Because of its high chemical affinity for oxygen, it was not until 1823 that Jöns Jakob Berzelius was first able to prepare it and characterize it in pure form. Its melting and boiling points of 1414 °C and 3265 °C respectively are the second-highest among all the metalloids and nonmetals, being only surpassed by boron. Silicon is the eighth most common element in the universe by mass, but very rarely occurs as the pure element in the Earth's crust. It is most widely distributed in dusts, sands, planetoids, and planets as various forms of silicon dioxide (silica) or silicates. More than 90% of the Earth's crust is composed of silicate minerals, making silicon the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust after oxygen.

Bell Labs Research and scientific development company

Nokia Bell Labs is an industrial research and scientific development company owned by Finnish company Nokia. With headquarters located in Murray Hill, New Jersey, the company operates several laboratories in the United States and around the world. Bell Labs has its origins in the complex past of the Bell System.

The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) was invented by Mohamed Atalla and Dawon Kahng in 1959. [9] [10] The MOSFET largely superseded both the bipolar transistor and the JFET, [1] and had a profound effect on digital electronic development. [11] [10] With its high scalability, [12] and much lower power consumption and higher density than bipolar junction transistors, [13] the MOSFET made it possible to build high-density integrated circuits. [14] The MOSFET is also capable of handling higher power than the JFET. [15] The MOSFET was the first truly compact transistor that could be miniaturised and mass-produced for a wide range of uses. [5] The MOSFET thus became the most common type of transistor in computers, electronics, [7] and communications technology (such as smartphones). [16] The US Patent and Trademark Office calls it a "groundbreaking invention that transformed life and culture around the world". [16]

Digital electronics Electronic circuits that utilize digital signals

Digital electronics, digital technology or digital (electronic) circuits are electronics that operate on digital signals. In contrast, analog circuits manipulate analog signals whose performance is more subject to manufacturing tolerance, signal attenuation and noise. Digital techniques are helpful because it is a lot easier to get an electronic device to switch into one of a number of known states than to accurately reproduce a continuous range of values.

CMOS (complementary MOS), a semiconductor device fabrication process for MOSFETs, was developed by Chih-Tang Sah and Frank Wanlass at Fairchild Semiconductor in 1963. [17] [18] The first report of a floating-gate MOSFET was made by Dawon Kahng and Simon Sze in 1967. [19] A double-gate MOSFET was first demonstrated in 1984 by Electrotechnical Laboratory researchers Toshihiro Sekigawa and Yutaka Hayashi. [20] [21] FinFET (fin field-effect transistor), a type of 3D non-planar multi-gate MOSFET, originated from the research of Digh Hisamoto and his team at Hitachi Central Research Laboratory in 1989. [22] [23]

Basic information

FETs can be majority-charge-carrier devices, in which the current is carried predominantly by majority carriers, or minority-charge-carrier devices, in which the current is mainly due to a flow of minority carriers. [24] The device consists of an active channel through which charge carriers, electrons or holes, flow from the source to the drain. Source and drain terminal conductors are connected to the semiconductor through ohmic contacts. The conductivity of the channel is a function of the potential applied across the gate and source terminals.

The FET's three terminals are: [25]

  1. source (S), through which the carriers enter the channel. Conventionally, current entering the channel at S is designated by IS.
  2. drain (D), through which the carriers leave the channel. Conventionally, current entering the channel at D is designated by ID. Drain-to-source voltage is VDS.
  3. gate (G), the terminal that modulates the channel conductivity. By applying voltage to G, one can control ID.

More about terminals

Cross section of an n-type MOSFET Lateral mosfet.svg
Cross section of an n-type MOSFET

All FETs have source, drain, and gate terminals that correspond roughly to the emitter, collector, and base of BJTs. Most FETs have a fourth terminal called the body, base, bulk, or substrate. This fourth terminal serves to bias the transistor into operation; it is rare to make non-trivial use of the body terminal in circuit designs, but its presence is important when setting up the physical layout of an integrated circuit. The size of the gate, length L in the diagram, is the distance between source and drain. The width is the extension of the transistor, in the direction perpendicular to the cross section in the diagram (i.e., into/out of the screen). Typically the width is much larger than the length of the gate. A gate length of 1 µm limits the upper frequency to about 5 GHz, 0.2 µm to about 30 GHz.

The names of the terminals refer to their functions. The gate terminal may be thought of as controlling the opening and closing of a physical gate. This gate permits electrons to flow through or blocks their passage by creating or eliminating a channel between the source and drain. Electron-flow from the source terminal towards the drain terminal is influenced by an applied voltage. The body simply refers to the bulk of the semiconductor in which the gate, source and drain lie. Usually the body terminal is connected to the highest or lowest voltage within the circuit, depending on the type of the FET. The body terminal and the source terminal are sometimes connected together since the source is often connected to the highest or lowest voltage within the circuit, although there are several uses of FETs which do not have such a configuration, such as transmission gates and cascode circuits.

Effect of gate voltage on current

I-V characteristics and output plot of a JFET n-channel transistor. JFET n-channel en.svg
I–V characteristics and output plot of a JFET n-channel transistor.
Simulation result for right side: formation of inversion channel (electron density) and left side: current-gate voltage curve(transfer characteristics) in an n-channel nanowire MOSFET. Note that the threshold voltage for this device lies around 0.45 V. Threshold formation nowatermark.gif
Simulation result for right side: formation of inversion channel (electron density) and left side: current-gate voltage curve(transfer characteristics) in an n-channel nanowire MOSFET. Note that the threshold voltage for this device lies around 0.45 V.
FET conventional symbol types FET Symbols.svg
FET conventional symbol types

The FET controls the flow of electrons (or electron holes) from the source to drain by affecting the size and shape of a "conductive channel" created and influenced by voltage (or lack of voltage) applied across the gate and source terminals. (For simplicity, this discussion assumes that the body and source are connected.) This conductive channel is the "stream" through which electrons flow from source to drain.

n-channel FET

In an n-channel "depletion-mode" device, a negative gate-to-source voltage causes a depletion region to expand in width and encroach on the channel from the sides, narrowing the channel. If the active region expands to completely close the channel, the resistance of the channel from source to drain becomes large, and the FET is effectively turned off like a switch (see right figure, when there is very small current). This is called "pinch-off", and the voltage at which it occurs is called the "pinch-off voltage". Conversely, a positive gate-to-source voltage increases the channel size and allows electrons to flow easily (see right figure, when there is a conduction channel and current is large).

In an n-channel "enhancement-mode" device, a conductive channel does not exist naturally within the transistor, and a positive gate-to-source voltage is necessary to create one. The positive voltage attracts free-floating electrons within the body towards the gate, forming a conductive channel. But first, enough electrons must be attracted near the gate to counter the dopant ions added to the body of the FET; this forms a region with no mobile carriers called a depletion region, and the voltage at which this occurs is referred to as the threshold voltage of the FET. Further gate-to-source voltage increase will attract even more electrons towards the gate which are able to create a conductive channel from source to drain; this process is called inversion.

p-channel FET

In a p-channel "depletion-mode" device, a positive voltage from gate to body widens the depletion layer by forcing electrons to the gate-insulator/semiconductor interface, leaving exposed a carrier-free region of immobile, positively charged acceptor ions.

Conversely, in a p-channel "enhancement-mode" device, a conductive region does not exist and negative voltage must be used to generate a conduction channel.

Effect of drain-to-source voltage on channel

For either enhancement- or depletion-mode devices, at drain-to-source voltages much less than gate-to-source voltages, changing the gate voltage will alter the channel resistance, and drain current will be proportional to drain voltage (referenced to source voltage). In this mode the FET operates like a variable resistor and the FET is said to be operating in a linear mode or ohmic mode. [26] [27]

If drain-to-source voltage is increased, this creates a significant asymmetrical change in the shape of the channel due to a gradient of voltage potential from source to drain. The shape of the inversion region becomes "pinched-off" near the drain end of the channel. If drain-to-source voltage is increased further, the pinch-off point of the channel begins to move away from the drain towards the source. The FET is said to be in saturation mode; [28] although some authors refer to it as active mode, for a better analogy with bipolar transistor operating regions. [29] [30] The saturation mode, or the region between ohmic and saturation, is used when amplification is needed. The in-between region is sometimes considered to be part of the ohmic or linear region, even where drain current is not approximately linear with drain voltage.

Even though the conductive channel formed by gate-to-source voltage no longer connects source to drain during saturation mode, carriers are not blocked from flowing. Considering again an n-channel enhancement-mode device, a depletion region exists in the p-type body, surrounding the conductive channel and drain and source regions. The electrons which comprise the channel are free to move out of the channel through the depletion region if attracted to the drain by drain-to-source voltage. The depletion region is free of carriers and has a resistance similar to silicon. Any increase of the drain-to-source voltage will increase the distance from drain to the pinch-off point, increasing the resistance of the depletion region in proportion to the drain-to-source voltage applied. This proportional change causes the drain-to-source current to remain relatively fixed, independent of changes to the drain-to-source voltage, quite unlike its ohmic behavior in the linear mode of operation. Thus, in saturation mode, the FET behaves as a constant-current source rather than as a resistor, and can effectively be used as a voltage amplifier. In this case, the gate-to-source voltage determines the level of constant current through the channel.

Composition

FETs can be constructed from various semiconductors -- silicon is by far the most common. Most FETs are made by using conventional bulk semiconductor processing techniques, using a single crystal semiconductor wafer as the active region, or channel.

Among the more unusual body materials are amorphous silicon, polycrystalline silicon or other amorphous semiconductors in thin-film transistors or organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) that are based on organic semiconductors; often, OFET gate insulators and electrodes are made of organic materials, as well. Such FETs are manufactured using a variety of materials such as silicon carbide (SiC), gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium nitride (GaN), and indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs).

In June 2011, IBM announced that it had successfully used graphene-based FETs in an integrated circuit. [31] [32] These transistors are capable of about 2.23 GHz cutoff frequency, much higher than standard silicon FETs. [33]

Types

Depletion-type FETs under typical voltages: JFET, poly-silicon MOSFET, double-gate MOSFET, metal-gate MOSFET, MESFET.
Depletion
Electrons
Holes
Metal
Insulator
Top: source, bottom: drain, left: gate, right: bulk. Voltages that lead to channel formation are not shown. FET comparison.png
Depletion-type FETs under typical voltages: JFET, poly-silicon MOSFET, double-gate MOSFET, metal-gate MOSFET, MESFET.
  Depletion
  Electrons
  Holes
  Metal
  Insulator
Top: source, bottom: drain, left: gate, right: bulk. Voltages that lead to channel formation are not shown.

The channel of a FET is doped to produce either an n-type semiconductor or a p-type semiconductor. The drain and source may be doped of opposite type to the channel, in the case of enhancement mode FETs, or doped of similar type to the channel as in depletion mode FETs. Field-effect transistors are also distinguished by the method of insulation between channel and gate. Types of FETs include:

Advantages

The FET has high gate-to-main current resistance, on the order of 100 MΩ or more, providing a high degree of isolation between control and flow. Because base current noise will increase with shaping time, [43] a FET typically produces less noise than a bipolar junction transistor (BJT), and is found in noise-sensitive electronics such as tuners and low-noise amplifiers for VHF and satellite receivers. It is relatively immune to radiation. It exhibits no offset voltage at zero drain current and makes an excellent signal chopper. It typically has better thermal stability than a BJT. [25] Because they are controlled by gate charge, once the gate is closed or open, there is no additional power draw, as there would be with a bipolar junction transistor or with non-latching relays in some states. This allows extremely low-power switching, which in turn allows greater miniaturization of circuits because heat dissipation needs are reduced compared to other types of switches.

Disadvantages

A field-effect transistor has a relatively low gain–bandwidth product compared to a BJT. The MOSFET is very susceptible to overload voltages, thus requiring special handling during installation. [44] The fragile insulating layer of the MOSFET between the gate and channel makes it vulnerable to electrostatic discharge or changes to threshold voltage during handling. This is not usually a problem after the device has been installed in a properly designed circuit.

FETs often have a very low "on" resistance and have a high "off" resistance. However, the intermediate resistances are significant, and so FETs can dissipate large amounts of power while switching. Thus efficiency can put a premium on switching quickly, but this can cause transients that can excite stray inductances and generate significant voltages that can couple to the gate and cause unintentional switching. FET circuits can therefore require very careful layout and can involve trades between switching speed and power dissipation. There is also a trade-off between voltage rating and "on" resistance, so high-voltage FETs have a relatively high "on" resistance and hence conduction losses.[ citation needed ]

Failure modes

FETs are relatively robust, especially when operated within the temperature and electrical limitations defined by the manufacturer (proper derating). However, modern FET devices can often incorporate a body diode. If the characteristics of the body diode are not taken into consideration, the FET can experience slow body diode behavior, where a parasitic transistor will turn on and allow high current to be drawn from drain to source when the FET is off. [45]

Uses

The most commonly used FET is the MOSFET. The CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) process technology is the basis for modern digital integrated circuits. This process technology uses an arrangement where the (usually "enhancement-mode") p-channel MOSFET and n-channel MOSFET are connected in series such that when one is on, the other is off.

In FETs, electrons can flow in either direction through the channel when operated in the linear mode. The naming convention of drain terminal and source terminal is somewhat arbitrary, as the devices are typically (but not always) built symmetrical from source to drain. This makes FETs suitable for switching analog signals between paths (multiplexing). With this concept, one can construct a solid-state mixing board, for example. FET is commonly used as an amplifier. For example, due to its large input resistance and low output resistance, it is effective as a buffer in common-drain (source follower) configuration.

IGBTs are used in switching internal combustion engine ignition coils, where fast switching and voltage blocking capabilities are important.

Source-gated transistor

Source-gated transistors are more robust to manufacturing and environmental issues in large-area electronics such as display screens, but are slower in operation than FETs. [46]

See also

Related Research Articles

Transistor Basic electronics component

A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. It is composed of semiconductor material usually with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor's terminals controls the current through another pair of terminals. Because the controlled (output) power can be higher than the controlling (input) power, a transistor can amplify a signal. Today, some transistors are packaged individually, but many more are found embedded in integrated circuits.

JFET type of field-effect transistor

The junction gate field-effect transistor is one of the simplest types of field-effect transistor. JFETs are three-terminal semiconductor devices that can be used as electronically-controlled switches, amplifiers, or voltage-controlled resistors.

N-type metal-oxide-semiconductor logic uses n-type MOSFETs to implement logic gates and other digital circuits. These nMOS transistors operate by creating an inversion layer in a p-type transistor body. This inversion layer, called the n-channel, can conduct electrons between n-type "source" and "drain" terminals. The n-channel is created by applying voltage to the third terminal, called the gate. Like other MOSFETs, nMOS transistors have four modes of operation: cut-off, triode, saturation, and velocity saturation.

A power semiconductor device is a semiconductor device used as a switch or rectifier in power electronics. Such a device is also called a power device or, when used in an integrated circuit, a power IC.

A MESFET is a field-effect transistor semiconductor device similar to a JFET with a Schottky (metal-semiconductor) junction instead of a p-n junction for a gate.

High-electron-mobility transistor

A High-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT), also known as heterostructure FET (HFET) or modulation-doped FET (MODFET), is a field-effect transistor incorporating a junction between two materials with different band gaps as the channel instead of a doped region. A commonly used material combination is GaAs with AlGaAs, though there is wide variation, dependent on the application of the device. Devices incorporating more indium generally show better high-frequency performance, while in recent years, gallium nitride HEMTs have attracted attention due to their high-power performance. Like other FETs, HEMTs are used in integrated circuits as digital on-off switches. FETs can also be used as amplifiers for large amounts of current using a small voltage as a control signal. Both of these uses are made possible by the FET’s unique current-voltage characteristics. HEMT transistors are able to operate at higher frequencies than ordinary transistors, up to millimeter wave frequencies, and are used in high-frequency products such as cell phones, satellite television receivers, voltage converters, and radar equipment. They are widely used in satellite receivers, in low power amplifiers and in the defense industry.

Threshold voltage Minimum source-to-gate voltage for a field effect transistor to be conducting from source to drain

The threshold voltage, commonly abbreviated as Vth, of a field-effect transistor (FET) is the minimum gate-to-source voltage VGS (th) that is needed to create a conducting path between the source and drain terminals. It is an important scaling factor to maintain power efficiency.

Organic field-effect transistor

An organic field-effect transistor (OFET) is a field-effect transistor using an organic semiconductor in its channel. OFETs can be prepared either by vacuum evaporation of small molecules, by solution-casting of polymers or small molecules, or by mechanical transfer of a peeled single-crystalline organic layer onto a substrate. These devices have been developed to realize low-cost, large-area electronic products and biodegradable electronics. OFETs have been fabricated with various device geometries. The most commonly used device geometry is bottom gate with top drain and source electrodes, because this geometry is similar to the thin-film silicon transistor (TFT) using thermally grown SiO2 as gate dielectric. Organic polymers, such as poly(methyl-methacrylate) (PMMA), can also be used as dielectric.

Power MOSFET power MOS field-effect transistor

A power MOSFET is a specific type of MOSFET designed to handle significant power levels.

VMOS

A VMOS transistor is a type of MOSFET. VMOS is also used for describing the V-groove shape vertically cut into the substrate material. VMOS is an acronym for "vertical metal oxide semiconductor", or "V-groove MOS".

Capacitance–voltage profiling is a technique for characterizing semiconductor materials and devices. The applied voltage is varied, and the capacitance is measured and plotted as a function of voltage. The technique uses a metal–semiconductor junction or a p–n junction or a MOSFET to create a depletion region, a region which is empty of conducting electrons and holes, but may contain ionized donors and electrically active defects or traps. The depletion region with its ionized charges inside behaves like a capacitor. By varying the voltage applied to the junction it is possible to vary the depletion width. The dependence of the depletion width upon the applied voltage provides information on the semiconductor's internal characteristics, such as its doping profile and electrically active defect densities., Measurements may be done at DC, or using both DC and a small-signal AC signal, or using a large-signal transient voltage.

Hot carrier injection (HCI) is a phenomenon in solid-state electronic devices where an electron or a “hole” gains sufficient kinetic energy to overcome a potential barrier necessary to break an interface state. The term "hot" refers to the effective temperature used to model carrier density, not to the overall temperature of the device. Since the charge carriers can become trapped in the gate dielectric of a MOS transistor, the switching characteristics of the transistor can be permanently changed. Hot-carrier injection is one of the mechanisms that adversely affects the reliability of semiconductors of solid-state devices.

Multigate device type of MOS field-effect transistor with more than one gate

A multigate device, multi-gate MOSFET or multi-gate field-effect transistor (MuGFET) refers to a MOSFET that incorporates more than one gate into a single device. The multiple gates may be controlled by a single gate electrode, wherein the multiple gate surfaces act electrically as a single gate, or by independent gate electrodes. A multigate device employing independent gate electrodes is sometimes called a multiple-independent-gate field-effect transistor (MIGFET).

PMOS logic p-type MOSFETs to implement logic gates

P-type metal-oxide-semiconductor logic uses p-channel metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) to implement logic gates and other digital circuits. PMOS transistors operate by creating an inversion layer in an n-type transistor body. This inversion layer, called the p-channel, can conduct holes between p-type "source" and "drain" terminals.

The gate oxide is the dielectric layer that separates the gate terminal of a MOSFET from the underlying source and drain terminals as well as the conductive channel that connects source and drain when the transistor is turned on. Gate oxide is formed by thermal oxidation of the silicon of the channel to form a thin insulating layer of silicon dioxide. The insulating silicon dioxide layer is formed through a process of self-limiting oxidation, which is described by the Deal Grove model. A conductive gate material is subsequently deposited over the gate oxide to form the transistor. The gate oxide serves as the dielectric layer so that the gate can sustain as high as 1 to 5 MV/cm transverse electric field in order to strongly modulate the conductance of the channel.

A diode-connected transistor is a method of creating a two-terminal rectifying device out of a three-terminal transistor. A characteristic of diode-connected transistors is that they are always in the saturation region for metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) and junction-gate field-effect transistors (JFETs), and in the active region for bipolar junction transistors (BJTs).

In field effect transistors (FETs), depletion mode and enhancement mode are two major transistor types, corresponding to whether the transistor is in an ON state or an OFF state at zero gate–source voltage.

Polysilicon depletion effect is the phenomenon in which unwanted variation of threshold voltage of the MOSFET devices using polysilicon as gate material is observed, leading to unpredicted behavior of the electronic circuit. Polycrystalline silicon, also called polysilicon, is a material consisting of small silicon crystals. It differs from single-crystal silicon, used for electronics and solar cells, and from amorphous silicon, used for thin film devices and solar cells.

References

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