A large project (START) on "Simulation of Advanced Semiconductor Devices" funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research (BMWF) through the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)
enters into its eighth year.
The project includes several research topics, such as modeling of novel semiconductors (strained Si/SiGe, various III-Vs, especially Nitrides, as well as the Group IV-VI material
systems). The device applications include advanced high-frequency, high-power Heterojunction Bipolar Transistors (HBTs) and High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMTs), as well as quantum
wires, thermoelectric devices, and high-efficiency solar cells.
Physics-based analytical models for the lattice, thermal, optical, bandstructure, and transport properties of various semiconductor materials, as well as models for important high-field
and high-doping effects taking place in the devices, are derived and implemented in the device simulator Minimos-NT. The models are calibrated against experimental data from our
scientific partners. Novel device structures are investigated, designed, and optimized.
For example, a recent work confirms that multiple avalanching Gunn domains are responsible for the superfast switching observed in GaAs bipolar transistors. Results from two-dimensional
hydrodynamic device/circuit simulations help understand the generation, the transient behavior, and the absorption of these domains. The switching includes fairly complex processes: a
variation in the number of domains during the transient, a variation in domain amplitude and width, and a variation in the ionization rates within the domains and in the density and
energy of the electron-hole plasma between them. The work is very promising, since these variations are a source of broad-spectrum sub-THz emission with high power density and efficiency
at room temperature.