Journal of Applied Physics

Auger generation as an intrinsic limit to tunneling field-effect transistor performance

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Many in the microelectronics field view tunneling field-effect transistors (TFETs) as society's best hope for achieving a >10× power reduction for electronic devices; however, despite a decade of considerable worldwide research, experimental TFET results have significantly underperformed simulations and conventional MOSFETs. To explain the discrepancy between TFET experiments and simulations, we investigate the parasitic leakage current due to Auger generation, an intrinsic mechanism that cannot be mitigated with improved material quality or better device processing. We expose the intrinsic link between the Auger and band-to-band tunneling rates, highlighting the difficulty of increasing one without the other. From this link, we show that Auger generation imposes a fundamental limit on ultimate TFET performance.