Silicon-germanium devices and circuits for high temperature applications
Thomas, Dylan Buxton
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Using bandgap engineering, silicon-germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS technology effectively combines III-V transistor performance with the cost and integration advantages associated with CMOS manufacturing. The suitability of SiGe technology for cryogenic and radiation-intense environments is well known, yet SiGe has been generally overlooked for applications involving extreme high temperature operation. This work is an investigation into the potential capabilities of SiGe technology for operation up to 300°C, including the development of packaging and testing procedures to enable the necessary measurements. At the device level, SiGe heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs), field-effect transistors (FETs), and resistors are verified to maintain acceptable functionality across the temperature range, laying the foundation for high temperature circuit design. This work also includes the characterization of existing bandgap references circuits, redesign for high temperature operation, validation, and further optimization recommendations. In addition, the performance of temperature sensor, operational amplifier, and output buffer circuits under extreme high temperature conditions is presented. To the author's knowledge, this work represents the first demonstration of functional circuits from a SiGe technology platform in ambient temperatures up to 300°C; furthermore, the optimized bandgap reference presented in this work is believed to show the best performance recorded across a 500°C range in a bulk-silicon technology platform.