Analysis and understanding of unique cryogenic phenomena in state-of-the-art SiGe HBTs

Qingqing Liang, Ramkumar Krithivasan, Adnan Ahmed, Yuan Lu, Ying Li, John D. Cressler, Guofu Niu, Jae Sung Rieh, Greg Freeman, Dave Ahlgren, Alvin Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A group of novel device phenomena are reported in state-of-the-art SiGe HBTs operating at cryogenic temperatures. Both negative-differential-resistance (NDR) and an unusual "hysteresis" behavior are observed in the forced-IB output characteristics of 350 GHz SiGe HBTs at cryogenic temperatures. Unlike the NDR effects in resonance-tunneling-diodes and III-V HBTs, the phenomena demonstrated in this paper are correlated to SiGe HBT high-injection effects and modulated by bias level. This unusual cryogenic behavior have been systematically investigated, and the results are compared to 50 GHz, 120 GHz, and 200 GHz SiGe HBT technology generations. An advanced Shockley-Read-Hall (SRH) recombination model including tunneling effects is introduced and used to explain the underlying NDR and "hysteresis" mechanisms in these cooled SiGe HBTs. Implications for potential novel device and circuit designs are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964-972
Number of pages9
JournalSolid-State Electronics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by IBM, NASA, JPL, and the Georgia Electronics Design Center at Georgia Tech. We thank D. Harame, D. Herman, B. Meyerson, and the IBM SiGe team for their support and contributions.


  • Cryogenic
  • Heterojunction bipolar transistor
  • Hysteresis
  • Low temperature
  • Negative differential resistance
  • Shockley-Read-Hall recombination
  • SiGe HBTs
  • Silicon-germanium
  • tunneling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis and understanding of unique cryogenic phenomena in state-of-the-art SiGe HBTs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this