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A new physically based classical continuous potential distribution model, particularly considering the channel center, is proposed for a short-channel undoped body symmetrical double-gate transistor. It involves a novel technique for solving the 2-D nonlinear Poisson's equation in a rectangular coordinate system, which makes the model valid from weak to strong inversion regimes and from the channel center to the surface. We demonstrated, using the proposed model, that the channel potential versus gate voltage characteristics for the devices having equal channel lengths but different thicknesses pass through a single common point (termed ldquocrossover pointrdquo). Based on the potential model, a new compact model for the subthreshold swing is formulated. It is shown that for the devices having very high short-channel effects (SCE), the effective subthreshold slope factor is mainly dictated by the potential close to the channel center rather than the surface. SCEs and drain-induced barrier lowering are also assessed using the proposed model and validated against a professional numerical device simulator.