Significant drain leakage current can be detected at drain voltages much lower than the breakdown voltage. This subbreakdown leakage can dominate the drain leakage current at zero VGin thin-oxide MOSFET's. The mechanism is shown to be band-to-band tunneling in Si in the drain/gate overlap region. In order to limit the leakage current to 0.1 pA/µm, the oxide field in the gate-to-drain overlap region must be limited to 2.2 MV/cm. This may set another constraint for oxide thickness or power supply voltage.
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