High-frequency performance projections and equivalent circuits for carbon-nanotube transistors

  • Author / Creator
    Paydavosi, Navid
  • This Ph.D. thesis focuses on the high-frequency electrical capabilities of the carbon-nanotube, field-effect transistor (CNFET). The thesis can be categorized into three stages, leading up to an assessment of the RF capabilities of realistic array-based CNFETs. In the first stage, the high-frequency and time-dependent behavior of ballistic CNFETs is examined by numerically solving the time-dependent Boltzmann transport equation (BTE) self-consistently with the Poisson equation. The RF admittance matrix, which contains the transistor’s y-parameters, is extracted. At frequencies below the transistor’s unity-current-gain frequency fT, the y-parameters are shown to agree with those predicted from a quasi-static equivalent circuit, provided that the partitioning factor for the device charge is properly extracted. It is also shown that a resonance behavior exists in the transistor’s y-parameters. In the second stage, non-quasi-static effects in ballistic CNFETs are examined by analytically developing a transmission-line model from the BTE and Poisson equation. This model includes nonclassical transistor elements, such as the "quantum capacitance" and "kinetic inductance," and it is shown to represent the intrinsic (contact-independent) transistor’s behavior at high frequencies, including a correct prediction of the resonances in the y-parameters. Moreover, it is shown that the kinetic inductance can be represented using lumped elements in the transistor’s small-signal equivalent circuit, and it is demonstrated that the resulting circuit is capable of modeling intrinsic CNFET behavior to frequencies beyond fT. In the last stage, by building upon the first two stages, a comprehensive study is performed to assess the RF performance potential of array-based CNFETs. First, phonon scattering is incorporated into the time-dependent BTE to study the impacts of collisions on different aspects of intrinsic CNFET operation, including the intrinsic fT and the small-signal equivalent circuit. These results are then further extended by adding the effects of extrinsic (contact-dependent) parasitics and then examining the behavior of key RF figures of merit, such as the extrinsic fT, the attainable power gain, and the unity-power-gain frequency. The results are compared to those of state-of-the-art high-frequency transistors and to the next generation of RF CMOS, and they provide an indication of the potential advantages of array-based CNFETs for RF applications.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Vaidyanathan, Mani (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Guo, Jing (Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Florida)
    • Pramanik, Sandipan (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    • Barlage, Douglas (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    • Cadien, Ken (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
    • DeCorby, Ray (Electrical and Computer Engineering)