Nanowire transistors for high frequency circuits

© Fraunhofer IAF

The monolithic integration of novel III-V semiconductor transistors onto silicon substrates could significantly improve the performance of today’s CMOS system-on-chip solutions for millimeter-wave applications. At the same time, the usage of GaAs substrates could be avoided.

The European project INSIGHT targets to improve the high frequency performance of today’s CMOS SoC (system-on-chip) solutions, while avoiding the use of gallium arsenide substrates. The researchers work on the development of III-V nanowire transistors with smallest diameters of 10 nm.

Due to the small footprint of the nanowire transistors, they can be integrated on silicon substrates by selective epitaxial growth. This opens up possibilities for the monolithic integration of III-V high frequency transistors together with silicon CMOS technologies.

Project title INSIGHT – Integration of III-V Nanowire Semiconductors for Next Generation High Performance CMOS SoC Technologies  
Project duration 12/2015 − 11/2018  
Funding source European Union  
Project partner
  • Lund University, Sweden
  • University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • University College Cork, Ireland
  • Commissariat à l'energie atomique et aux energies alternatives, France
  • IBM Research, Switzerland
Project manager Dr. Thomas Merkle  
  • Investigate n-InGaAs and p-GaSb III-V MOSFETs with nanowire structure
  • Develop planar III-V heterostructure MOSFETs
  • Provide toolbox of materials and process technologies for a integration on silicon substrates
  • Demonstrate the co-integration of InGaAs MOSFETS with silicon FD-SOI CMOS
  • High frequency nanowire transistor models
  • III-V MOSFET circuits with silicon-compatible back-end-of-line interconnects
  • A. Leuther, et. al. “80 nm InGaAs MOSFET W-Band low noise amplifier”,
    IEEE Int. Microw. Symposium, 2017.

  • A. Leuther, et. al. “A 250 GHz millimeter wave amplifier MMIC based on 30 nm metamorphic InGaAs MOSFET technology”,
    EUMW 2017.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No 688784.