Applied Physics Letters, Volume 80, Number 17, 3192-3194, 29 April 2002.


The performance limits of carbon nanotube field-effect transistors 􏰎CNTFETs􏰁 are examined theoretically by extending a one-dimensional treatment used for silicon metal – oxide – semiconductor field-effect transistors 􏰎MOSFETs􏰁. Compared to ballistic MOSFETs, ballistic CNTFETs show similar I–V characteristics but the channel conductance is quantized. For low-voltage, digital applications, the CNTFET with a planar gate geometry provides an on-current that is comparable to that expected for a ballistic MOSFET. Significantly better performance, however, could be achieved with high gate capacitance structures. Because the computed performance limits greatly exceed the performance of recently reported CNTFETs, there is considerable opportunity for progress in device performance.

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