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8.1 An Optimization Scenario

A common problem with MOS devices is their degradation in the presence of hot carriers in their channels [14,25]. These hot carriers are critical to the lifetime of a MOS device since they are -- due to their high energy -- able to penetrate the gate oxide film and degrade the function of the device. As an effect of trapped gate-oxide charges, the threshold voltage is increasingly shifted with time and at some point the integrated circuit fails. At the same time hot carriers are the cause for electron/hole pair generation by means of impact ionization mechanisms [43]. Pair generation gives rise to the substrate current of the devices and, since they are correlated to hot carriers, they serve as a macroscopic measure for the extent of hot carriers. This means by reducing the substrate current of a MOS device, hot carrier effects are reduced simultaneously.

The introduction of a lightly doped drain (LDD) structures reduces the electric field at the drain end of the channel, and, thus, also reduces hot carrier effects. On the other hand, a LDD also reduces the drive current of the device due to an additional serial resistance. This means that a compromise between reduced hot carrier effects (or substrate currents) and a moderate reduction of the drive current has to be found. Therefore, an optimization (minimization) of the substrate current is expected to deliver MOS devices with increased lifetime and an acceptable drive current.

Figure 8.1 depicts the network which describes these criteria. MOS devices are fabricated according to the parameters of a process recipe and the set of lithography masks. Afterwards, the drive current, the maximum substrate current, and the leakage current of that device are evaluated. And finally, a quality metric (which is used as the target of the optimization8.1) is computed based on the evaluated substrate current according to

q = - \frac{I_{bulk}}{I_{bulk,nom}} \mathrm{.}
\end{displaymath} (8.1)

In order to force the optimization not to reduce the drive current Ion we use an inequality constraint

c_{drive} = \frac{I_{on}-I_{on,min}}{I_{on,min}} \mathrm{.}
\end{displaymath} (8.2)

As a result the optimizer has to maintain the drive current above a lower limit Ion,min= 0.24 mA.

Similar to the drive current, we include another constraint for the leakage current in order to avoid devices which are susceptible to punch through breakdown. We therefore specify an upper limit of $I_{off,max} =\mbox{$5\cdot{}10^{-15}$}~\mathrm{A}$ and compute the constraint according to

c_{leak} = - \frac{I_{off}-I_{off,max}}{I_{off,max}} \mathrm{.}
\end{displaymath} (8.3)

% latex2html id marker 7812\centering
An evaluation network for the
optimization of MOS \mbox{devices}.}


... optimization8.1
Since the DONOPT optimizer minimizes its target, we design a quality metric with negative sign.

next up previous contents
Next: 8.1.1 Modeling the Fabrication Up: 8. Technology Optimization Previous: 8. Technology Optimization
Rudi Strasser