Enabling Energy Efficiency and Polarity Control in Germanium Nanowire Transistors by Individually Gated Nanojunctions

Germanium is a promising material for future very large scale integration transistors, due to its superior hole mobility. However, germanium-based devices typically suffer from high reverse junction leakage due to the low band-gap energy of 0.66 eV and therefore are characterized by high static power dissipation. In this paper, we experimentally demonstrate a solution to suppress the off-state leakage in germanium nanowire Schottky barrier transistors. Thereto, a device layout with two independent gates is used to induce an additional energy barrier to the channel that blocks the undesired carrier type. In addition, the polarity of the same doping-free device can be dynamically switched between p- and n-type. The shown germanium nanowire approach is able to outperform previous polarity-controllable device concepts on other material systems in terms of threshold voltages and normalized on-currents. The dielectric and Schottky barrier interface properties of the device are analyzed in detail. Finite-element drift-diffusion simulations reveal that both leakage current suppression and polarity control can also be achieved at highly scaled geometries, providing solutions for future energy-efficient systems.