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In 2008, Salahuddin and Datta proposed that a ferroelectric material operating in the negative capacitance (NC) region could act as a step-up converter of the surface potential in a metal-oxide-semiconductor structure, opening a new route for the realization of transistors with steeper subthreshold characteristics (S <; 60mV/dec). In this paper, a comprehensive physics-based surface potential and a drain current model for the NC field-effect transistor are reported. The model is aimed to evaluate the potentiality of such transistors for low-power switching applications. This paper also sheds light on how operation in the NC region can be experimentally detected.