Semi-floating-gate MOSFET with embedded TFET for ultrafast memory

According to the Editor’s Summary of a recent paper in Science

Wang et al. (p. 640) fabricated a semi-floating gate (SFG) transistor in which a tunneling field-effect transistor couples the positively doped floating gate to the negatively doped drain region. The charge stored on the SFG was used to shift the voltage threshold for switching the transistor, which in turn sped up its operation and lowered the power consumed. These devices were used for ultrahigh-speed memory and in light sensing and imaging.

and according to the Abstract

We report on a transistor that uses an embedded tunneling field-effect transistor for charging and discharging the semi-floating gate. This transistor operates at low voltages (≤2.0 volts), with a large threshold voltage window of 3.1 volts, and can achieve ultra–high-speed writing operations (on time scales of ~1 nanosecond). A linear dependence of drain current on light intensity was observed when the transistor was exposed to light, so possible applications include image sensing with high density and performance.

According to

The idea is that if the gate could be made to open and close faster, the transistor as a whole would operate faster. Current chips require a build-up of charge before the gate can be opened or closed—which requires time. TFETs, because they require less power, don’t take as long to do their work, thus embedding one in a floating gate-MOSFET would alleviate the necessity of power buildup prior to gate changes, allowing for quicker opening and closing. That’s exactly what the team in China has done. […]

The team reports that because of the way their TFETs are constructed, embedding them in current model MOSFETs should not require reconfiguration or the use of any new materials. This means that the new TFET technology could be put into use almost immediately […]

From Science.

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