IQE and Penn State University present joint paper at the IEDM conference in Washington DC

01 December 2011

Cardiff, UK – 1 December 2011: IQE plc (AIM: IQE) and Pennsylvania State University will next week present a joint paper on recent key developments in compound semiconductor device technologies for low voltage transistor applications at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in Washington, DC.
The paper; "Demonstration of MOSFET-Like On-Current Performance in Arsenide/Antimonide Tunnel FETs with Staggered Heterojunctions for 300mV Logic Applications," to be presented by Dheeraj Mohata at Penn State University, experimentally demonstrated a vertical hetero tunnel Field Effect Transistor (HTFET) with a record high drive current (ION) of 190μA/μm and 100μA/μm at VDS=0.75V and 0.3V, respectively.
The research measured, simulated and benchmarked the performance of compound semiconductor based Tunnel-FET (TFET) with 40nm strained Si MOSFET performance for low voltage (0.3V) logic applications, demonstrating the potential for arsenide/antimonide (As/Sb) based materials for integration into future ultra low voltage electronic devices where high performance and low power consumption is a critical factor.
Tunnel FET is an emerging transistor concept being explored by many groups around the world. In traditional MOSFETs, the building block of digital technology, the transistor channel is turned on by injecting carriers over a gate controlled p-n junction. This results in a gradual turn-on of the transistor and works well as long as we do not reduce the supply voltage of operation too much. In Tunnel FETs, the transistor channel is turned on by injecting carriers through a gate controlled tunnel junction. This results in abrupt turn-on of the transistors which allows us to reduce the supply voltage of operation and hence achieve significant power saving.
The biggest hurdle facing the adoption of Tunnel FETs by the mainstream semiconductor industry is that the drive current of the Tunnel FET demonstrated to date is quite low due to limitation of the band to band tunnelling rate in known semiconductors. By carefully selecting the proper combination of two different semiconductors and adjusting their composition such that their band alignment results in a staggered configuration, one can significantly increase the tunnelling rate and enhance the drive current, or ION, of the Tunnel FET. This has been achieved in a vertical hetero tunnel Field Effect Transistor discussed in the presented paper and offers the potential to enable a new generation of electronics that can operate in highly energy constrained environments.
Established in 1955, the IEDM is the world's premier forum for reporting breakthroughs in technology, design, manufacturing, physics and the modelling of semiconductors and other electronic devices. Proceedings of the conference are published by the IEEE.

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Note to Editors


ABOUT IQE

IQE is the leading global supplier of advanced semiconductor wafers with products that cover a diverse range of applications, supported by an innovative outsourced foundry services portfolio that allows the Group to provide a 'one stop shop' for the wafer needs of the world's leading semiconductor manufacturers.
IQE uses advanced crystal growth technology (epitaxy) to manufacture and supply bespoke semiconductor wafers ('epi-wafers') to the major chip manufacturing companies, who then use these wafers to make the chips which form the key components of virtually all high technology systems. IQE is unique in being able to supply wafers using all of the leading crystal growth technology platforms.
IQE's products are found in many leading-edge consumer, communication, computing and industrial applications, including a complete range of wafer products for the wireless industry, such as mobile handsets and wireless infrastructure, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, base stations, GPS, and satellite communications; optical communications. The Group also manufactures advanced optoelectronic and photonic components such as semiconductor lasers, vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and optical sensors for a wide range of applications including optical storage (CD, DVD, BluRay), thermal imaging, leading-edge medical products, pico-projection, finger navigation ultra high brightness LEDs, and high efficiency concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar cells.
The manufacturers of these chips are increasingly seeking to outsource wafer production to specialist foundries such as IQE in order to reduce overall wafer costs and accelerate time to market.
IQE also provides bespoke R&D services to deliver customised materials for specific applications and offers specialist technical staff to manufacture to specification either at its own facilities or on the customer's own sites. The Group is also able to leverage its global purchasing volumes to reduce the cost of raw materials. In this way, IQE's outsourced services, provide compelling benefits in terms of flexibility and predictability of cost, thereby significantly reducing operating risk.
IQE operates eight facilities located in Cardiff (two), Milton Keynes and Bath in the UK; in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Somerset, New Jersey and Spokane, Washington in the USA; and Singapore. The Group also has 11 sales offices located in major economic centres worldwide.

ABOUT PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

Penn State University was founded in 1855 with engineering studies being introduced in 1882. The university rapidly became one of the ten largest undergraduate engineering schools in the US.
The Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University is a nationally recognized program with thirty six tenured/tenure track faculty members, with annual research expenditures of approximately $10 million. NSF ranks PSU-EE at University Park 3rd nationally in total science and engineering research expenditures. The department has major thrusts in communications and networking, control systems, electromagnetics, electronic materials and devices, optical materials and devices, power systems, remote sensing and space sciences, and signal and image processing.

The Materials Research Institute at Penn State University) is an interdisciplinary organization for engaging strategic research at the cross-section of education, science, and innovation. MRI supports research activities that span the physical, engineering, and life sciences, and draw upon the expertise of a diverse faculty in departments across the campus. MRI exemplifies an entrepreneurial and collaborative faculty culture, maintained core facilities with technical staff and state-of-the-art equipment and three buildings dedicated to interdisciplinary materials research that spans over 5 Colleges, 15 Departments, and involves 200+ Faculty, 100 Researchers and 800+ Graduate Students.