Applied Physics Letters

The piezoelectronic stress transduction switch for very large-scale integration, low voltage sensor computation, and radio frequency applications

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The piezoelectronic transduction switch is a device with potential as a post-CMOS transistor due to its predicted multi-GHz, low voltage performance on the VLSI-scale. However, the operating principle of the switch has wider applicability. We use theory and simulation to optimize the device across a wide range of length scales and application spaces and to understand the physics underlying its behavior. We show that the four-terminal VLSI-scale switch can operate at a line voltage of 115 mV while as a low voltage-large area device, -200 mV operation at clock speeds of -2 GHz can be achieved with a desirable 104 On/Off ratio - ideal for on-board computing in sensors. At yet larger scales, the device is predicted to operate as a fast (-250 ps) radio frequency (RF) switch exhibiting high cyclability, low On resistance and low Off capacitance, resulting in a robust switch with a RF figure of merit of -4 fs. These performance benchmarks cannot be approached with CMOS which has reached fundamental limits. In detail, a combination of finite element modeling and ab initio calculations enables prediction of switching voltages for a given design. A multivariate search method then establishes a set of physics-based design rules, discovering the key factors for each application. The results demonstrate that the piezoelectronic transduction switch can offer fast, low power applications spanning several domains of the information technology infrastructure.