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MOS Transistors

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Yannis Tsividis

Learn how MOS transistors work, and how to model them. The understanding provided in this course is essential not only for device modelers, but also for designers of high-performance circuits.

Next Session:

Mar 11th 2013 (10 weeks long) Sign Up
Workload: 8-10 hours/week

About the Course

The MOS transistor (MOSFET) is the workhorse of the microelectronic revolution. It is estimated that there are currently over 1 billion transistors per human being in the world. Part of the MOS transistor’s success lies in its very small size (you can fit 1,000 of them within the width of a human hair!), part lies on some amazing things this device can do. However, the descriptions of MOS transistors in basic electronics courses cannot begin to do justice to this device. If you want to really know how the MOSFET operates, and how to model it, you need to study it carefully and systematically. This course will help you do just that.

The course starts with a review of basic physical principles, and expands into a detailed treatment of MOS transistor phenomena, in a logical and systematic fashion, enhanced by intuitive discussions. We discuss a hierarchy of models – from the simple to the sophisticated – clearly identifying the connections between them, and encompassing many aspects of modeling, including dc, large-signal transient operation, quasi-static operation, non-quasi-static operation, small-signal operation, noise, and structural effects. We discuss the concepts on which the most popular CAD (computer-aided design) MOS transistor models are based.

About the Instructor(s)

Yannis Tsividis is the Charles Batchelor Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Starting with the first fully integrated MOS operational amplifier, which he demonstrated in 1976, Professor Tsividis has done extensive work in analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits at the device, circuit, system, and computer simulation level. His work has resulted in several patents in several countries. He is the recipient of the 1984 IEEE W. R. G. Baker Prize Award for the best IEEE publication, the 1986 European Solid-State Circuits Conference Best Paper Award, and the 1998 and 2008 IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Guillemin-Caure Best Paper Award. He is co-recipient of the 1987 IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Darlington Best Paper Award and the 2003 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference L. Winner Outstanding Paper Award. He is a fellow of the IEEE, and received a Golden Jubilee Medal from the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society in 2000. He received the IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2005, the IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award in 2007, and the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Education Award in 2010. He received Columbia’s Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2003.

Course Syllabus

1. Background review (semiconductors and pn junctions).
2. MOSFET overview.
3. The 2-terminal MOS structure.
4. The 3-terminal MOS structure.
5. Long-channel MOS transistor all-region modeling.
6. Strong inversion models.
7. Weak inversion models.
8. Source reference models vs. body reference models.
9. Effective mobility.
10. Short channel effects. Velocity saturation, channel length modulation, two-dimensional charge sharing. Narrow channel effects.
11. DIBL. Punchthrough. Hot carrier effects. Ballistic operation.
12. Poly depletion. QM effects. DC gate current.
13. Scaling.
14. Large-signal dynamic operation.
15. Charge modeling.
16. Quasi-static and non-quasi-static modeling.
17. Small-signal modeling.
18. Noise.
19. RF small-signal modeling.
20. Substrate nonuniformity and structural effects.
21. Considerations for CAD modeling.

Recommended Background

This course assumes a background in basic calculus and in basic circuits and electronics. The course will include a quick refresher of basic semiconductor concepts (electrons and holes, intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors, drift and diffusion, etc.).

Suggested Readings

Although the lectures are designed to be self-contained, it is highly recommended that students read, after each weekly set of lectures, the corresponding sections in the book by Yannis Tsividis and Colin McAndrew, Operation and Modeling of the MOS Transistor, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2011, ISBN 978-0-19-517015-3; this book was written specifically for such a course.

Course Format

The class will consist of lecture videos, which are broken into small chunks, usually between eight and twelve minutes each, accompanied by stand-alone quizzes. A model design project will also be assigned.
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