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Nanoscale Schottky barrier MOSFETs (SBFETs) are explored by solving the two-dimensional Poisson equation self-consistently with a quantum transport equation. The results show that for SBFETs; with positive, effective metal-semiconductor barrier heights, the on-current is limited by tunneling through a barrier at the source. If, however, a negative metal-semiconductor barrier height could be achieved, on-current of SBFETs would approach that of a ballistic MOSFET. The reason is that the gate voltage would then modulate a thermionic barrier rather than a tunneling barrier, a process similar to ballistic MOSFETs and one that delivers more current.