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General Introduction

  • Francis Balestra
  • Gérard Ghibaudo
Chapter

Abstract

There are numerous reasons for operating electronic devices and circuits below room temperature:
  1. 1)
    improved performance such as:
    • — Higher speed due to improved transport properties, ideal subthreshold operation and reduced interconnect resistance

    • — Lower thermal electrical noise

    • — Reduction or suppression of parasitic effects leading to an improvement of device reliability, for instance latch-up and leakage currents for CMOS circuits or electromigration for the interconnects

    • — Increased thermal conductivity for silicon and many other materials allowing higher integration density;

     
  2. 2)

    refined characterization methods, for instance dealing with the determination of interface or bulk defects, the study of scattering mechanisms or the investigation of quantum effects;

     
  3. 3)

    physical and technological limitations for the ultimate integration of silicon circuits down to nanometric dimensions which could be overcome using low temperature electronics;

     
  4. 4)

    need to couple electronics to other devices which are in a cold environment, such as read-out circuits with cooled detectors;

     
  5. 5)

    study and use of physical phenomena that occur only or are magnified at low temperature such as single electron effects or superconductivity;

     
  6. 6)

    a conventional electronic circuit has to operate in a wide temperature range, from 125°C down to −55°C, and therefore needs also to be evaluated at low temperature. Note also that the lowest temperature observed on earth is about −90°C. Other very interesting temperature ranges are liquid nitrogen (77K = −196°C=−320°F) and liquid helium temperatures (4K=−269°C=−452°F).

     

Keywords

Liquid Helium Temperature High Electron Mobility Transistor Parasitic Effect Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor High Integration Density 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis Balestra
    • 1
  • Gérard Ghibaudo
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physique des Composants à SemiconducteursUMR CNRS, ENSERG/INPGGrenobleFrance

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