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Developing ultrasensitive and CMOS compatible ISFETs in the BEOL of industrial UTBB FDSOI transistors

Getenet Tesega Ayele 1
1 INL - DE - INL - Dispositifs Electroniques
INL - Institut des Nanotechnologies de Lyon
Abstract : Exploiting the intrinsic amplification feature provided by UTBB FDSOI transistors, we demonstrated ultrahigh sensitive ISFETs. Integration of the sensing functionality was made in the BEOL which gives the benefits of increased reliability and life time of the sensor, compatibility with the standard CMOS process, and possibility for embedding a capacitive divider circuit. Operation of the MOSFETs without a proper front gate bias makes them vulnerable for undesired floating body effects. The capacitive divider circuit addresses these issues by biasing the front gate simultaneously with the sensing functionality at the same gate through capacitive coupling to a common BEOL metal. Therefore, the potential at the BEOL metal would be a weighted sum of the surface potential at the sensing gate and the applied bias at the control gate. The proposed sensor is modeled and simulated using TCAD-Sentaurus. A complete mathematical model is developed which provides the output of the sensor as a function of the solution pH (input to the sensor), and the design parameters of the capacitive divider circuit and the UTBB FDSOI transistor. In that case, consistent results have been obtained from the modeling and simulation works, with an expected sensitivity of 780 mV/pH corresponding to a sensing film having Nernst response. The modeling and simulation of the proposed sensor was further validated by a proof of concept extended gate pH sensor fabrication and characterization. These sensors were developed by a separated processing of just the pH sensing component, which is electrically connected to the transistor only during characterization of the sensor. This provides faster and simpler realization of the sensor without the need for masks and patterning by lithography. The extended gate sensors showed 475 mV/pH sensitivity which is superior to state of the art low power ISFETs. Finally, integration of the sensing functionality directly in the BEOL of the UTBB FDSOI devices was pursued. An experimental sensitivity of 730 mV/pH is obtained which is consistent with the mathematical model and the simulated response. This is more than 12-times higher than the Nernst limit, and superior to state of the art sensors. Sensors are also evaluated for stability, resolution, hysteresis, and drift in which excellent performances are demonstrated.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 4:29:28 PM
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Getenet Tesega Ayele. Developing ultrasensitive and CMOS compatible ISFETs in the BEOL of industrial UTBB FDSOI transistors. Micro and nanotechnologies/Microelectronics. Université de Lyon; Université de Sherbrooke (Québec, Canada), 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSEI026⟩. ⟨tel-02402927⟩

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