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One-dimensional fast transient simulator for modeling CdS/CdTe solar cells

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Solar energy, including solar heating, solar architecture, solar thermal electricity and solar photovoltaics, is one of the primary energy sources replacing fossil fuels. Being one of the most important techniques, significant research has been conducted in solar cell efficiency improvement.

Solar energy, including solar heating, solar architecture, solar thermal electricity and solar photovoltaics, is one of the primary energy sources replacing fossil fuels. Being one of the most important techniques, significant research has been conducted in solar cell efficiency improvement. Simulation of various structures and materials of solar cells provides a deeper understanding of device operation and ways to improve their efficiency. Over the last two decades, polycrystalline thin-film Cadmium-Sulfide and Cadmium-Telluride (CdS/CdTe) solar cells fabricated on glass substrates have been considered as one of the most promising candidate in the photovoltaic technologies, for their similar efficiency and low costs when compared to traditional silicon-based solar cells. In this work a fast one dimensional time-dependent/steady-state drift-diffusion simulator, accelerated by adaptive non-uniform mesh and automatic time-step control, for modeling solar cells has been developed and has been used to simulate a CdS/CdTe solar cell. These models are used to reproduce transients of carrier transport in response to step-function signals of different bias and varied light intensity. The time-step control models are also used to help convergence in steady-state simulations where constrained material constants, such as carrier lifetimes in the order of nanosecond and carrier mobility in the order of 100 cm2/Vs, must be applied.

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2013

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Electrical and thermal transport in alternative device technologies

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The goal of this research work is to develop a particle-based device simulator for modeling strained silicon devices. Two separate modules had to be developed for that purpose: A generic bulk Monte Carlo simulation code which in the long-time limit

The goal of this research work is to develop a particle-based device simulator for modeling strained silicon devices. Two separate modules had to be developed for that purpose: A generic bulk Monte Carlo simulation code which in the long-time limit solves the Boltzmann transport equation for electrons; and an extension to this code that solves for the bulk properties of strained silicon. One scattering table is needed for conventional silicon, whereas, because of the strain breaking the symmetry of the system, three scattering tables are needed for modeling strained silicon material. Simulation results for the average drift velocity and the average electron energy are in close agreement with published data. A Monte Carlo device simulation tool has also been employed to integrate the effects of self-heating into device simulation for Silicon on Insulator devices. The effects of different types of materials for buried oxide layers have been studied. Sapphire, Aluminum Nitride (AlN), Silicon dioxide (SiO2) and Diamond have been used as target materials of interest in the analysis and the effects of varying insulator layer thickness have also been investigated. It was observed that although AlN exhibits the best isothermal behavior, diamond is the best choice when thermal effects are accounted for.

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2013

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Study of self-heating effects in GaN HEMTs

Description

GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) based on the III-V nitride material system have been under extensive investigation because of their superb performance as high power RF devices. Two dimensional electron gas(2-DEG) with charge density ten times higher than that

GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) based on the III-V nitride material system have been under extensive investigation because of their superb performance as high power RF devices. Two dimensional electron gas(2-DEG) with charge density ten times higher than that of GaAs-based HEMT and mobility much higher than Si enables a low on-resistance required for RF devices. Self-heating issues with GaN HEMT and lack of understanding of various phenomena are hindering their widespread commercial development. There is a need to understand device operation by developing a model which could be used to optimize electrical and thermal characteristics of GaN HEMT design for high power and high frequency operation. In this thesis work a physical simulation model of AlGaN/GaN HEMT is developed using commercially available software ATLAS from SILVACO Int. based on the energy balance/hydrodynamic carrier transport equations. The model is calibrated against experimental data. Transfer and output characteristics are the key focus in the analysis along with saturation drain current. The resultant IV curves showed a close correspondence with experimental results. Various combinations of electron mobility, velocity saturation, momentum and energy relaxation times and gate work functions were attempted to improve IV curve correlation. Thermal effects were also investigated to get a better understanding on the role of self-heating effects on the electrical characteristics of GaN HEMTs. The temperature profiles across the device were observed. Hot spots were found along the channel in the gate-drain spacing. These preliminary results indicate that the thermal effects do have an impact on the electrical device characteristics at large biases even though the amount of self-heating is underestimated with respect to thermal particle-based simulations that solve the energy balance equations for acoustic and optical phonons as well (thus take proper account of the formation of the hot-spot). The decrease in drain current is due to decrease in saturation carrier velocity. The necessity of including hydrodynamic/energy balance transport models for accurate simulations is demonstrated. Possible ways for improving model accuracy are discussed in conjunction with future research.

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2013

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Modeling of self-heating effects in 25nm SOI devices

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Since its inception about three decades ago, silicon on insulator (SOI) technology has come a long way to be included in the microelectronics roadmap. Earlier, scientists and engineers focused on ways to increase the microprocessor clock frequency and speed. Today,

Since its inception about three decades ago, silicon on insulator (SOI) technology has come a long way to be included in the microelectronics roadmap. Earlier, scientists and engineers focused on ways to increase the microprocessor clock frequency and speed. Today, with smart phones and tablets gaining popularity, power consumption has become a major factor. In this thesis, self-heating effects in a 25nm fully depleted (FD) SOI device are studied by implementing a 2-D particle based device simulator coupled self-consistently with the energy balance equations for both acoustic and optical phonons. Semi-analytical expressions for acoustic and optical phonon scattering rates (all modes) are derived and evaluated using quadratic dispersion relationships. Moreover, probability distribution functions for the final polar angle after scattering is also computed and the rejection technique is implemented for its selection. Since the temperature profile varies throughout the device, temperature dependent scattering tables are used for the electron transport kernel. The phonon energy balance equations are also modified to account for inelasticity in acoustic phonon scattering for all branches. Results obtained from this simulation help in understanding self-heating and the effects it has on the device characteristics. The temperature profiles in the device show a decreasing trend which can be attributed to the inelastic interaction between the electrons and the acoustic phonons. This is further proven by comparing the temperature plots with the simulation results that assume the elastic and equipartition approximation for acoustic and the Einstein model for optical phonons. Thus, acoustic phonon inelasticity and the quadratic phonon dispersion relationships play a crucial role in studying self-heating effects.

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2013

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Generalized Monte Carlo tool for investigating low-field and high field properties of materials using non-parabolic band structure model

Description

In semiconductor physics, many properties or phenomena of materials can be brought to light through certain changes in the materials. Having a tool to define new material properties so as to highlight certain phenomena greatly increases the ability to understand

In semiconductor physics, many properties or phenomena of materials can be brought to light through certain changes in the materials. Having a tool to define new material properties so as to highlight certain phenomena greatly increases the ability to understand that phenomena. The generalized Monte Carlo tool allows the user to do that by keeping every parameter used to define a material, within the non-parabolic band approximation, a variable in the control of the user. A material is defined by defining its valleys, energies, valley effective masses and their directions. The types of scattering to be included can also be chosen. The non-parabolic band structure model is used. With the deployment of the generalized Monte Carlo tool onto www.nanoHUB.org the tool will be available to users around the world. This makes it a very useful educational tool that can be incorporated into curriculums. The tool is integrated with Rappture, to allow user-friendly access of the tool. The user can freely define a material in an easy systematic way without having to worry about the coding involved. The output results are automatically graphed and since the code incorporates an analytic band structure model, it is relatively fast. The versatility of the tool has been investigated and has produced results closely matching the experimental values for some common materials. The tool has been uploaded onto www.nanoHUB.org by integrating it with the Rappture interface. By using Rappture as the user interface, one can easily make changes to the current parameter sets to obtain even more accurate results.

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Date Created
2011

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One dimensional modeling of mercury cadmium telluride photodetectors operated at low temperatures

Description

The long wavelength infrared region (LWIR) and mid wavelength infrared region (MWIR) are of great interest as detection in this region offers a wide range of real time applications. Optoelectronic devices operating in the LWIR and MWIR region offer potential

The long wavelength infrared region (LWIR) and mid wavelength infrared region (MWIR) are of great interest as detection in this region offers a wide range of real time applications. Optoelectronic devices operating in the LWIR and MWIR region offer potential applications such as; optical gas sensing, free-space optical communications, infrared counter-measures, biomedical and thermal imaging etc. HgCdTe is a prominent narrow bandgap material that operates in the LWIR region. The focus of this research work is to simulate and analyze the characteristics of a Hg1-xCdxTe photodetector. To achieve this, the tool `OPTODET' has been developed, where various device parameters can be varied and the resultant output can be analyzed. By the study of output characteristics in response to various changes in device parameters will allow users to understand the considerations that must be made in order to reach the optimum working point of an infrared detector. The tool which has been developed is a 1-D drift diffusion based simulator which solves the 1-D Poisson equation to determine potentials and utilizes the results of the 1-D electron and hole continuity equations to determine current. Parameters such as absorption co-efficient, quantum efficiency, dark current, noise, Transit time and detectivity can be simulated. All major recombination mechanisms such as SRH, Radiative and Auger recombination have been considered. Effects of band to band tunnelling have also been considered to correctly model the dark current characteristics.

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2011

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MESFET optimization and innovative design for high current device applications

Description

There will always be a need for high current/voltage transistors. A transistor that has the ability to be both or either of these things is the silicon metal-silicon field effect transistor (MESFET). An additional perk that silicon MESFET transistors have

There will always be a need for high current/voltage transistors. A transistor that has the ability to be both or either of these things is the silicon metal-silicon field effect transistor (MESFET). An additional perk that silicon MESFET transistors have is the ability to be integrated into the standard silicon on insulator (SOI) complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process flow. This makes a silicon MESFET transistor a very valuable device for use in any standard CMOS circuit that may usually need a separate integrated circuit (IC) in order to switch power on or from a high current/voltage because it allows this function to be performed with a single chip thereby cutting costs. The ability for the MESFET to cost effectively satisfy the needs of this any many other high current/voltage device application markets is what drives the study of MESFET optimization. Silicon MESFETs that are integrated into standard SOI CMOS processes often receive dopings during fabrication that would not ideally be there in a process made exclusively for MESFETs. Since these remnants of SOI CMOS processing effect the operation of a MESFET device, their effect can be seen in the current-voltage characteristics of a measured MESFET device. Device simulations are done and compared to measured silicon MESFET data in order to deduce the cause and effect of many of these SOI CMOS remnants. MESFET devices can be made in both fully depleted (FD) and partially depleted (PD) SOI CMOS technologies. Device simulations are used to do a comparison of FD and PD MESFETs in order to show the advantages and disadvantages of MESFETs fabricated in different technologies. It is shown that PD MESFET have the highest current per area capability. Since the PD MESFET is shown to have the highest current capability, a layout optimization method to further increase the current per area capability of the PD silicon MESFET is presented, derived, and proven to a first order.

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2011

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Separating radiation and thermal effects on lateral PNP bipolar junction transistors operating in the space environment

Description

Radiation-induced gain degradation in bipolar devices is considered to be the primary threat to linear bipolar circuits operating in the space environment. The damage is primarily caused by charged particles trapped in the Earth's magnetosphere, the solar wind, and cosmic

Radiation-induced gain degradation in bipolar devices is considered to be the primary threat to linear bipolar circuits operating in the space environment. The damage is primarily caused by charged particles trapped in the Earth's magnetosphere, the solar wind, and cosmic rays. This constant radiation exposure leads to early end-of-life expectancies for many electronic parts. Exposure to ionizing radiation increases the density of oxide and interfacial defects in bipolar oxides leading to an increase in base current in bipolar junction transistors. Radiation-induced excess base current is the primary cause of current gain degradation. Analysis of base current response can enable the measurement of defects generated by radiation exposure. In addition to radiation, the space environment is also characterized by extreme temperature fluctuations. Temperature, like radiation, also has a very strong impact on base current. Thus, a technique for separating the effects of radiation from thermal effects is necessary in order to accurately measure radiation-induced damage in space. This thesis focuses on the extraction of radiation damage in lateral PNP bipolar junction transistors and the space environment. It also describes the measurement techniques used and provides a quantitative analysis methodology for separating radiation and thermal effects on the bipolar base current.

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2011

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Simulation of MOSFETs, BJTs and JFETs at and near the pinch-off region

Description

Semiconductor devices are generally analyzed with relatively simple equations or with detailed computer simulations. Most text-books use these simple equations and show device diagrams that are frequently very simplified and occasionally incorrect. For example, the carrier densities near the pinch-off

Semiconductor devices are generally analyzed with relatively simple equations or with detailed computer simulations. Most text-books use these simple equations and show device diagrams that are frequently very simplified and occasionally incorrect. For example, the carrier densities near the pinch-off point in MOSFETs and JFETs and the minority carrier density in the base near the reverse-biased base-collector junction are frequently assumed to be zero or near zero. Also the channel thickness at the pinch-off point is often shown to approach zero. None of these assumptions can be correct. The research in thesis addresses these points. I simulated the carrier densities, potentials, electric fields etc. of MOSFETs, BJTs and JFETs at and near the pinch-off regions to determine exactly what happens there. I also simulated the behavior of the quasi-Fermi levels. For MOSFETs, the channel thickness expands slightly before the pinch-off point and then spreads out quickly in a triangular shape and the space-charge region under the channel actually shrinks as the potential increases from source to drain. For BJTs, with collector-base junction reverse biased, most minority carriers diffuse through the base from emitter to collector very fast, but the minority carrier concentration at the collector-base space-charge region is not zero. For JFETs, the boundaries of the space-charge region are difficult to determine, the channel does not disappear after pinch off, the shape of channel is always tapered, and the carrier concentration in the channel decreases progressively. After simulating traditional sized devices, I also simulated typical nano-scaled devices and show that they behave similarly to large devices. These simulation results provide a more complete understanding of device physics and device operation in those regions usually not addressed in semiconductor device physics books.

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2011

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Conversion of a molecular beam epitaxy system for the growth of 6.1 angstrom semiconductors

Description

A dual chamber molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system was rebuilt for the growth of 6.1 Angstrom II-VI and III-V compound semiconductor materials that are to be used in novel optoelectronic devices that take advantage of the nearly continuous bandgap availability

A dual chamber molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system was rebuilt for the growth of 6.1 Angstrom II-VI and III-V compound semiconductor materials that are to be used in novel optoelectronic devices that take advantage of the nearly continuous bandgap availability between 0 eV and 3.4 eV. These devices include multijunction solar cells and multicolor detectors. The MBE system upgrade involved the conversion of a former III-V chamber for II-VI growth. This required intensive cleaning of the chamber and components to prevent contamination. Special features including valved II-VI sources and the addition of a cold trap allowed for the full system to be baked to 200 degrees Celsius to improve vacuum conditions and reduce background impurity concentrations in epilayers. After the conversion, the system was carefully calibrated and optimized for the growth of ZnSe and ZnTe on GaAs (001) substrates. Material quality was assessed using X-ray diffraction rocking curves. ZnSe layers displayed a trend of improving quality with decreasing growth temperature reaching a minimum full-width half-maximum (FWHM) of 113 arcsec at 278 degrees Celsius. ZnTe epilayer quality increased with growth temperature under Zn rich conditions attaining a FWHM of 84 arcsec at 440 degrees Celsius. RHEED oscillations were successfully observed and used to obtain growth rate in situ for varying flux and temperature levels. For a fixed flux ratio, growth rate decreased with growth temperature as the desorption rate increased. A directly proportional dependence of growth rate on Te flux was observed for Zn rich growth. Furthermore, a method for determining the flux ratio necessary for attaining the stoichiometric condition was demonstrated.

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2012