The high-mobility bended n-channel silicon nanowire transistor

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This work demonstrates a method for incorporating strain in silicon nanowire gate-all-around (GAA) n-MOSFETs by oxidation-induced bending of the nanowire channel and reports on the resulting improvement in device performance. The variation in strain measured during processing is discussed. The strain profile in silicon nanowires is evaluated by Raman spectroscopy both before device gate stack fabrication (tensile strains of up to 2.5% are measured) and by measurement through the polysilicon gate on completed electrically characterized devices. Drain current boosting in bended n-channels is investigated as a function of the transistor operation regime, and it is shown that the enhancement depends on the effective electrical field. The maximum observed electron mobility enhancement is on the order of 100% for a gate bias near the threshold voltage. Measurements of stress through the full gate stack and experimental device characteristics of the same transistor reveal a stress of 600 MPa and corresponding improvements of the normalized drain current, normalized transconductance, and low-field mobility by 34% (at maximum gate overdrive), 50% (at gmax), and 53%, respectively, compared with a reference nonstrained device at room temperature. Finally, it is found that, at low temperatures, the low-field mobility is much higher in bended devices, compared with nonbended devices. © 2010 IEEE.