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Hole mobility enhancements in nanometer-scale strained-silicon heterostructures grown on Ge-rich relaxed Si1-xGex

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2 Author(s)
Lee, Minjoo L. ; Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 ; Fitzgerald, E.A.

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Although strained-silicon (Є-Si) p-type metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistors (p-MOSFETs) demonstrate enhanced hole mobility compared to bulk Si devices, the enhancement has widely been observed to degrade at large vertical effective fields. We conjecture that the hole wave function in Є-Si heterostructures spreads out over distances of ∼10 nm, even at large inversion densities, due to the strain-induced reduction of the out-of-plane effective mass. Relevant experimental and theoretical studies supporting this argument are presented. We further hypothesize that by growing layers thinner than the hole wave function itself, inversion carriers can be forced to occupy and hybridize the valence bands of different materials. In this article, we show that p-MOSFETs with thin (i.e., ≪3 nm) Є-Si layers grown on Ge-rich Si1-xGex buffers exhibit markedly different mobility enhancements from prior Є-Si p-MOSFETs. Devices fabricated on a thin Є-Si layer grown on relaxed Si0.3Ge0.7 demonstrate hole mobility enhancements that increase with gate overdrive, peaking at a value of nearly 3 times. In other devices where the channel region consists of a periodic Є-Si/relaxed Si0.3Ge0.7 digital alloy, a nearly constant mobility enhancement of 2.0 was observed over inversion densities ranging from 3 to 14×1012/cm2. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:94 ,  Issue: 4 )