Wireless Sensor Network, 2011, 3, 300-305
doi:10.4236/wsn.2011.38031 Published Online August 2011 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/wsn)
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. WSN
Characterization Process of MOSFET with Virtual
Instrumentation for DP4T RF Switch—A Review
Viranjay M. Srivastava1, K. S. Yadav2, G. Singh1
1Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Jaypee University of Information Technology,
Solan, Indi a
2VLSI Design Group, Central Electro nics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI), Pilani, India
E-mail: viranjay@ieee.org
Received June 26, 2011; revised July 22, 2011; accepted July 31, 2011
With the increasing interest in radio frequency switch by using the CMOS circuit technology for the wireless
communication systems is in demand. A traditional n-MOS Single-Pole Double-Throw (SPDT) switch has
good performances but only for a single operating frequency. For multiple operating frequencies, to trans-
mitting or receiving information through the multiple antennas systems, known as MIMO system, a new RF
switch is required which should be capable of operating with multiple antennas and frequencies as well as
minimizing signal distortions and power consumption. We already have proposed a Double-Pole Four-Throw
(DP4T) RF switch and in this research article we are discussing a process for the characterization of the
MOSFET with Virtual Instrumentation. The procedure to characterize oxide and conductor layers that are
grown or deposited on semiconductors is by studying the characteristics of a MOS capacitor that is formed of
the conductor (Metal)-insulator-semiconductor layers for the purpose of RF CMOS as a switch is presented.
For a capacitor formed of Metal-silicon dioxide-silicon layers with a thick oxide measured optically. Some
of the calculated material parameters are away from the expected values. These errors might be due to sev-
eral factors such as a possible offset capacitance of the probes due to improper contact with the wafer which
is measured by using the LCR (Inductance-Capacitance-Resistance) meter with the help of Visual Engineer-
ing Environment Programming (VEE Pro, a Agilent product).
Keywords: RF CMOS, LCR Meter, VEE Pro, Resistance of MOSFET, DP4T Switch, RF Switch, VLSI
1. Introduction
Currently, instruments as well as instrumentation tech-
nique have been replaced at an increasing pace by
hardware/ software mixed measurement oriented systems.
The software component provides the hardware extended
measuring capabilities and the instruments are thus
named virtual instruments [1]. With its growth and wide
applications, virtualization has come through a revival in
computer system community. Virtualization offers a lot
of benefits including flexibility, security, ease to con-
figuration and management, reduction of cost and so
forth, but at the same time it also brings a certain degree
of performance overhead. Furthermore, Virtual Machine
Monitor (VMM) is the core component of virtual ma-
chine (VM) system and its effectiveness greatly impacts
the performance of complete system [2]. Designed for
measurement precision, we use LCR meters which is
suitable for production applications as well as research
and development purpose. As shown in Figure 1, this
offers excellent performance at an affordable cost [3-5].
It has the properties of wide selection of frequency range
from few Hz to 3 GHz, frequency list sweep for con-
tinuous testing at multiple frequency points used for
general purpose testing of surface-mount components,
leaded components, materials, general purpose interface
bus (GPIB) and handler interface for easy test automa-
tion in production environment with 0.05% basic accu-
racy. By this device we can measure the parameters as
impedance (Z), admittance (Y), θ, resistance (R), Induc-
tance (L), capacitance (C), transconductance (X), mag-
netc field ( B), quality factor (Q), DC resistance (Rdc),
DC currnt (Idc), DC voltage (Vdc) [6,7].
This LCR meter supports the VEE programming en-
vironment, which provides simulated signal sources and
displays. We can experiment with program flow and data
Figure 1. LCR meter.
processing with only LCR meter and VEE programming.
VEE provides an Instrument Manager and a Dynamic
input/output (I/O) server to simplify the tasks of discov-
ering, configuring, and managing external instruments
[8-10]. The VEE supports several types of instrument
drivers. Earlier, when the instruments were not available,
just press one button in the Instrument Manager to take a
driver “off line” and continue developing the program.
2. Earlier Works
Previous approaches to RF-MOSFET modeling involve
adding lump elements to a compact model for digital and
analog circuit designs, such as BSIM3, BSIM4, and
MM9, and they focus on how to build a reasonable sub-
circuit and how to extract their values according to eq-
uivalent circuits [11-13]. These methods consist of
analysis and optimization. Few attempts have been made
to build a scalable RF-MOSFET model, including the
layout-based extrinsic elements. For RF MOSFET mod-
eling, lots of issues need to be considered [14-16] espe-
cially the three most important parasitic components:
gate resistance Rg, which influences the input impedance
and noise performance of RF-MOSFETs [17,18].
Henry and Coumou [19] have presented a model for
thermal conductivity, specific heat and thermal diffusiv-
ity which are the essential properties of engineered plas-
tics, ceramics, composites and other materials, whether
for end-use products or processing applications. They
also presents fully automated instrumentation for direct
measurement of these properties on a wide variety of
materials. Gaioni et al. [20] has discussed a measuring
system that was developed to characterize the gate cur-
rent noise performances of CMOS devices with mini-
mum feature size in the 100 nm span. These devices play
an essential role in the design of present day mixed signal
integrated circuits, because of the advantages associated
with the scaling process. The reduction in the gate oxide
thickness brought about by CMOS technology down-
scaling leads to a nonnegligible gate current due to direct
tunneling phenomena; this current represents a noise
source which requires an accurate characterization for
optimum analog design. Cvjetkovic et al. [21] proposed a
laboratory helicopter model with two degrees of freedom
was developed to teach mechanical engineering students
static and dynamic characteristics and controls. They
performed different measurements and experiments with
the laboratory helicopter model both locally and re-
motely. Also, remote experiments are performed by us-
ing a web-based user interface for controlling the lab-
oratory equipment and an IP (Internet Protocol) camera
for observing the movements of the helicopter model.
Grout and Dasilva [22] have presented a language
used to describe the structure and capabilities (attributes)
of remote, or online, laboratories. The structure of the
presented language is provided with reference to the spe-
cific case study remote laboratory. This language can be
readily extended to describe current laboratory attributes
in more detail and to extend the language in order to
identify and present new laboratory attributes. Pradarelli
et al. [23] have addressed the local and remote use of an
Integrated Circuits (IC) Automated Test Equipment (ATE)
for both educational and engineering purposes. Here,
practical information regarding IC testing and network
setup for remote access are detailed, together with the
associated training program.
Lowe et al. [24] have discusses a novel approach to the
integration of support for multi-user distributed access to
a single remote laboratory instance. The approach retains
the benefits of the lightweight client inherent in the
underlying architecture. Pandey et al. [25] have
presented an automated evaluation procedure to
characterize MOS capacitors involving high-k gate
dielectrics. Suitability of LabView environment for
online web-based semiconductor device characterization
is demonstrated. Implementation of the algorithm for use
as a remote internet-based characterization tool, where the
client and server communicate with each other via web
services, was also presented.
3. Recent Overviews
Dasa and Biswas [26] have presented the impacts of an
ultrathin Si interfacial layer on the electrical properties of
GaAs MOS capacitors fabricated using RF-sputtered
HfAlOx as the dielectric. It is found that the Si passivated
GaAs MOS capacitor exhibits excellent electrical prop-
erties compared with the non-passivated ones. Orgiu et
al. [27] has found that the charge transport across the
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. WSN
bulk of a polymeric dielectric layer exerts a strong influ-
ence on the performances of the organic field-effect tran-
sistors. In particular it gives place to a large hysteresis on
the transfer curves which impacts the extraction and the
straight interpretation of major device parameters such as
the field-effect mobility and the threshold voltage. This
charge contribution was highlighted through space-charge
limited current measurements carried out on MIM ca-
pacitors having a polymeric dielectric as the insulating
Recently, the CMOS switch uses the technique of
silicon-on-insulator (SOI), which is attractive because of
the high speed performance, low power consumption, its
scalability and effective potential. As compared to bulk
silicon substrate, the architecture of SOI MOSFETs is
more flexible due to several parameters such as thick-
nesses of film and buried oxide, substrate doping, and
back gate bias which can be used for optimization and
scaling. The short-channel effects are mitigated in ultra-
thin SOI films. The continuous downscaling of CMOS
technology has greatly improved the RF performance of
transistors. These improvements to the CMOS manufac-
turing process have made it an excellent choice for RF
integrated circuit (RFIC) design. The success of RFIC
design strongly relies on accurate device models. How-
ever, general device models provided by semiconductor
foundries are not guaranteed within a certain bias and
frequency range, and they also offer poor correlation
between the device layouts and the RF characteristics.
Transistor layout and its wiring effect are considered as
one of the crucial issues for gigahertz circuit design,
since they directly affect the RF transceiver performance
Due to the single operating frequency, simple switch
has a limited data transfer rate. Therefore, a Double-Pole
Double-Throw (DPDT) switch is designed to solve the
problem. The DPDT switch has dual antenna and dual
ports, one port for transmitting and the other for receiv-
ing, which is not sufficient for MIMO systems. Hence,
DP4T switch is designed to enhance the switch perfor-
mance for MIMO applications [32]. This DP4T switch
can send or receive two parallel data streams simultane-
4. Process for Characterization
In this article, we discussed the application of LCR meter
as virtual instruments for the purpose of RF CMOS
characterization with measurement of some parameters
with VEE programming as shown in Figure 2 [33-35].
Firstly, we put the designed die on the platform of
LCR meter, and switch ON the LCR meter then setup the
meter according to measurement condition. Perform the
measurements by varying the voltage from +5V to –5V
and then back to +5V again or from +7V to –7V de-
pending upon applications and also varying frequency
from low to high depending upon the MOS structure
from 1MHz to some RF frequency as GHz [36,37]. The
required parameter will display on the screen of LCR
meter as well as on computer monitor where VEE pro-
gramming is stored. By this process we can perform the
measurement and take the reading of required parameters.
Some of the calculated material parameters were far
from the expected values might be due several factors
like a possible offset capacitance of the probes due to
improper contact with the wafer which is measured using
LCR meter with help of Visual Engineering Environment.
To solve those problems, we suggest a process to recali-
bration of the probes, vary the voltage with smaller in-
crements and another possibility is that the heating
temperature for MOS device should approximately 200oC,
because at lower temperature effect on the oxide charges
will be negligible whereas at high temperature arrange-
ment of oxide charges will perturb. To solve this problem,
take the two readings of C-V curve one before heating
Start the LCR
Place wafer on
Switch ON the
LCR meter
Select the
Result on
Figure 2. Program flow chart for RF CMOS characteriza-
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. WSN
. 381-386.
the device and other reading after heating, so that we can
avoid the dislocation of charges. Also probes could have
internal capacitances of their own that has not been ac-
counted in the software of the machine, so the machine
would actually be reading the series equivalent capaci-
tance of its probes and the wafer capacitors. To solve that
problem, the machine should be calibrated using refer-
ence wafers whose properties are well known.
5. Conclusions
Based on virtual instrumentation characterization of a RF
CMOS, a capacitor which resulted in erroneous values of
material parameters, mainly the substrate dopant concen-
tration, on which most of the other parameters are based,
we recognized those errors and correct that with a test
wafer measurement for the different parameters.
A RF CMOS has the properties as fixed tuned match-
ing networks, low Q matching networks, ruggedness,
high power output, mounting flange packages, and Sili-
con grease. Power gain (a measure of power amplifica-
tion, is the ratio of output power to input power, dB),
Noise figure (a measure of the amount of noise added
during normal operation, is the ratio of the signal-to-
noise ratio at the input and the signal-to-noise ratio at the
output, dB), High power dissipation (a measure of total
power consumption, W or mW). Most of these parame-
ters can be measured using the processes as in Figure 2.
Some bipolar RF CMOS transistors are suitable for auto-
motive, commercial or general industrial applications.
We can calculate the drain current, resistance, poten-
tial barrier, gate voltage and control voltage. After the
characterization, we apply the device for the application
of DP4T switches [32]. We can also apply this charac-
terization process for the double-gate MOSFET and
Surrounding-gate MOSFET [23,38].
Radiation characteristics and clinical implementation
of an implantable MOSFET radiation detector (dosimeter)
can be discussed with the proposed process. The dosime-
ter is powered by radio frequency telemetry eliminating
the need for a power source inside the dosimeter. The
data can be accessed telemetrically for each treatment
day during the course of therapy. The detector has been
validated in vitro to confirm its accuracy. Variance be-
tween predicted and measured dose in patients is dis-
cussed. Factors such as patient setup, treatment plan er-
ror, and physiologic motion can affect the accuracy of
dose delivery in moving from in vitro to in vivo dose
measurements [39]. A method for the extraction of dam-
age metrics based upon the transient response of the
drain-to-source current Ids to a step input to the gate of
the device can also be performed [40]. Systematic mis-
match at the drain capacitance of the IA with the current
mirror load is the major contribution to a low CMRR at
high frequencies. To mitigate this effect, one can use the
capacitive neutralization and demonstrated its effective-
ness from the fabricated CMOS instrumentation ampli-
fier chip samples, achieving an average CMRR [41].
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