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Simulation, Analysis and Comparison of SET And

CMOS Hybrid Circuits Using SPICE Model

G.V.Hari Prasad Dr.P.Rajesh kumar V.srinivasa Rao K.Leela Bhavani
Department Of Electronics & Communication Engineering
Shri Vishnu Engineering College For Women,JNTU Kakinada University

Abstract The SET transistor can be viewed as an electron box that

has two separate junctions for the entrance and exit of single
A tunneling transistor is considered to be an element of a future electrons.
low power, high-density integrated circuit because of a possible
ultra-low power operation with a few electrons. In this context,
the performance of SET is compared qualitatively and
quantitatively with CMOS logic gates. Therefore, although a
complete replacement of CMOS by single-electronics is
unlikely in the near future, it is also true that combining SET
and CMOS one can bring out new functionalities, which are un-
mirrored in pure CMOS technology. As the hybridization of
CMOS and SET is gaining popularity, silicon SETs are
appearing to be more promising than metallic SETs for their
possible integration with CMOS Simulation of SET and CMOS
circuits are required for efficient circuit design and analysis.
The macro-modeling technique of SET has been applied to the
SPICE simulation of single-electron/CMOS hybrid circuits.

Keywords – Coulomb Blockade, Single Electron

Transistor,CMOS, Hybrid circuits, SPICE
Fig 1: A Single-electron transistor diagram
Introduction For an electron to hop onto the island, its energy must equal
the Coulomb energy e2/2C. When both the gate and bias
Recently, there has been great progress in the fabrication of voltages are zero, electrons do not have enough energy to enter
various nano-devices utilizing silicon ULSI processing the island and current does not flow. As the bias voltage
techniques. Reliable room temperature operations have been between the source and drain is increased, an electron can pass
demonstrated in a silicon single-electron quantum-dot transistor, through the island when the energy in the system reaches the
a silicon self assembled quantum-dot transistor, and various Coulomb energy. This effect is known as the Coulomb
types of single-electron memory cells. SETs have been widely blockade, and the critical voltage needed to transfer an electron
studied and demonstrated due to the maturity and variety of onto the island, equal to e/C, is called the Coulomb gap voltage.
their process technologies. These devices based on the single- If the bias voltage is kept below the Coulomb gap voltage the
electron charging effect, i.e., the Coulomb blockade in Si increase of gate voltage gradually increases the energy of the
nanostructures, are promising because their operation principle initial system while the energy of the system with one excess
becomes more robust as the device size is scaled down unlike electron on the island gradually decreases. At the gate voltage
MOSFET, which will be further explained in the following corresponding to the point of maximum slope on the Coulomb
section. Moreover, their power consumption is quite low. staircase, both of these configurations equally qualify as the
However, SETs are not expected to replace the conventional lowest energy states of the system. This lifts the Coulomb
CMOS logic devices because of their inherent limitations such blockade, allowing electrons to tunnel into and out of the island.
as a low voltage gain and current drivability. In contrast, new There are three fundamentally different approaches to the
functionalities of SETs, such as quantum cellular automata simulation of single electron circuits: SPICE macro-modeling,
(QCA), binary decision diagram (BDD) devices, and the multi Monte Carlo based and Master Equation based .In this paper,
valued logic, have been explored extensively. the Simulation of SET and CMOS based logic circuits are done
Single-electron tunneling transistor is a device that exploits by Micro-Cap Simulator. The commonly used simulators are
the quatum effect of tunneling to control and measure the MOSES, SIMON, and KOSEC. These simulators are based on
moment of single electrons.Unlike field-effect transistors, a Monte Carlo method. Micro-Cap is a SPICE compatible
single-electron devices are based on an intrinsically quantum method. The SPICE macro-modeling of SET has been
phenomenon: the tunnel effect. This is observed when to successfully applied to the simulation of single-electron/hybrid
metallic electrodes are separated by an insulating barrier about circuits. Several hybrid circuits such as an SET-NMOS pair and
1nm thick. Electrons at the Fermi energy can “tunnel” through a single electron NOR-gate with CMOS buffers have been
the insulator, even though in classical terms their energy would
be low to overcome the potential barrier.
simulated and efficient interface characteristics are



SPICE simulation of SET circuits is possible by the macro

modeling of SETs. The macro modeling scheme is compatible
with the standard method of SPICE simulation, consisting of the
device modeling using an equivalent circuit, parameter
extraction and subsequent circuit simulation. Figure 2 shows the
schematic diagram of an SET and its equivalent circuit. The
macro-model representation of the equivalent circuit is
summarized in Fig.2
In Fig. 2, R1 , R2 , and R3 is expressed with a cosine
function to describe the Coulomb oscillation
And D2, D3, Vp, and −Vp are expressed to describe the
Coulomb staircase. The parameter values, CF 1 = 60,CV p =
0.015, CI2 = 0.2 × 10−9 , CR1 = 300 × 106 , and CR2 = 100 ×
106 , give the best fit of the current-voltage characteristics when
C = 1.6 aF, Cg = 4.8 aF, Rt =100 M Ω, and T = 30 K.

Fig.3. SET based inverter schematic

Let us first assume the followings for the inverting buffer

circuit, as depicted in Fig.2. logic ‘0’=Vd=0mv, logic
Fig 2 a. Macro –modeling of an SET (equivalent circuit of an ‘1’=Vd=Vs~qe/C1.The inverting buffer is composed of 2 SET
SET) transistors, where the upper transistor T1 consists of the circuit
elements J1,J2,Cg1,Cb1 and the lower transistor T2 consists of
SIMULATION OF SET & CMOS BASED the circuit elements J3,J4,Cg2,Cb2.
LOGIC GATES When the buffer’s output values changes, a charge
transport of 1qe occurs through one of these two transistors.the
We can construct single-electron logic circuits in which SETs initial tunnel event occurs in either junction J1 (followed by a
can operate analogously to MOSFETs of CMOS logic circuits. tunnel event in junction J2), or in junction J4 (followed by a
The Simulation of SET and CMOS based logic circuits are done tunnel event in junction J3).In each of these two cases, the delay
by Micro-Cap and SPICE software respectively.Since most of associated with the initial tunnel event is approximately one
the readers are very familiar with CMOS logic order of magnitude larger than the delay of the second tunnel
circuits,Schematic of SET logic circuits only are presented event. The total capacitive load attached to a transistor island
here.. (nodes n1 and n3) is assumed to be approximately ½[C1].As a
result, the critical voltage Vc of each tunnel junction is
Inverter approximately Vs, Focusing on T1,and assuming that the input
Complementary single-electron inverter,a Vin is logic ‘0’ and that the charges on nodes n1 and n2 are
fundamental circuit element for single-electron CMOS-type both 0, the initial tunnel event occurs through J1. Afterwards,
logic can be constructed by using twp similar SETs. An the charge on node n1 is qe while the charge on node n2
equivalent circuit is shown in Fig.3 Each SET has two gates. remains 0.Consequently, the voltage across junction J2 resulting
One of them acts as an input gate, and other acts as a control from the initial tunnel event is approximately Vs. In contrast the
gate by which we can use the same SET as a p-switch or an n- initial tunnel event in J1 is triggered when the input Vin
switch. switches between logic ‘0’ and ‘1’.The Fig.4. Shows the Screen
shot of SET inverter using Micro-cap.
Fig. 6. SET- NAND input & output waveforms

Fig.4. Screen shot-SET inverter in Micro-cap

Fig. 7. SET- NOR input & output waveforms



Figure 8 shows two typical examples of hybrid circuits.

Figure 8(a) shows an inverter consisting of an SET with an
NMOS load. The bias voltage (Vdd) is 0.015 V and the gate
bias of the NMOS load (Vgg) is 0.5 V so that the NMOS load
operates in the sub threshold region. The output of the inverter
is connected to the 3-stage CMOS buffers. Figure 8(b) shows a
Fig .5.Inverter input & output waveforms
hybrid circuit consisting of a single electron NOR-gate
connected with 4-stage CMOS buffers. The parameters of MOS
transistors are notified in the figure where Wn , Wp , L, tox , VT
N , and VT P denote the NMOS channel width, the PMOS
Fig.5.shows the CMOS based inverter input & output
channel width, the channel length, the gate oxide thickness, the
waveforms. From these waveforms it’s very clear that the SET
NMOS threshold voltage, and the PMOS threshold voltage,
based inverter switches very fast without much delay and
respectively. The channel widths of the first CMOS inverter are
voltage swing.Fig.6 & Fig.7 shows the waveforms of NAND
narrower than those of the others to reduce the load capacitance
and NOR.
seen by the SEC. Multi-stage CMOS buffers are used for the
amplification of the output signal (Vout ) up to the full swing
(±1 V).
Fig. 8. Schematic diagrams of hybrid circuits. (a) An
inverter, consisting of an SET with an NMOS load, connected
with 3-stage CMOS buffers. (b) A single electron NOR-gate
connected with 4-stage CMOS buffers.

Figure 9 shows the SPICE macro-model simulation results of

the hybrid circuit shown in Fig. 8(a). Figure 9(a) shows the
current (Ids) of the SET and the voltage (Vt) at the SET/NMOS Fig. 9. SPICE macro-model simulation results of the hybrid
node as a function of the input bias (Vin). Figure 9(b) shows circuit shown in Fig. 8(a). (a) Ids of the SET and Vt at the
the Vt , Vi (output of the first CMOS buffer), and Vout (output SET/NMOS node as a function of Vin. b) Transient
of the third CMOS buffer) when the square pulse is applied to characteristics of Vt , Vi , and Vout when the square pulse is
Vin .The final output Vout exhibits a pulse with the amplitude applied to Vin .
of 2 V. Figure 6 shows the SPICE macro-model simulation
results of the hybrid circuit shown in Fig. 8(b). The input buffer stage where the logic levels are settled at the full swing
voltage (Vg1 and Vg2 ) range is ±8 mV and the output of the of ±1 V. However, the above CMOS buffer circuits consisting
single electron NOR-gate (VNOR) is with in the range of ±4 mV. of CMOS inverters have some problem from a practical view-
Especially, the low level of VN OR shows level splitting of ±1 point because of the noise margin or MOS device parameter
mV and ±4 mV . However, the final output (Vout) exhibits full variation. In the future, we will be able to simulate hybrid
swing of ±1 V and does not show any level splitting. The range circuits consisting of SEC circuits and new circuits such as the
of VN OR signal is completely in the transition region of the first comparators over 10 bits with SPICE macro-model of SETs
stage CMOS inverter. The high and the low signal gradually because the comparators over 10 bits can be designed
diverge from each other as they go through the CMOS buffer independently enough to the noise margin or MOS device
stages. The level splitting disappears at the final parameter variation.
AND2 4 One SEB
NAND2 4 One SEB+2
NOR2 2 One SEB+2


Rising time and falling time of the signal can be estimated


Tr(or)tf = -RC ln((VDD-Vout)/VDD) (1)

Tr- Rising time, tf – Falling Time

R- Circuit resistance, C- circuit capacitance,
S- VDD- Supply Voltage,Vout-output Voltage.

Fig. 10. SPICE macro-model simulation results of the Propagation Delay Time(PDT) can be estimated from the time
hybrid circuit shown in Fig. 8(b). constant of the circuit RC.The sum of the rise time, fall time &
propagation delay gives the total delay time(2).

COMPARISON Total Delay TD =tr+tf+PDT (2)

All the simulation results reported above clearly show that TABLE 3
SET based logic gates take approximately zero delay time in COMPARISON BASED ON DELAY
propagating the input signal to output side. A number of SET
circuits are discussed and simulated using the macro model for Tr(or) tf PDT TD
single electron transistor. The possibility of simulating hybrid CMOS(ns) 16.95 36.95 70.85
circuits was one of the motivations for developing a macro SET(ps) 116.5 316.5 549.5
model for a single electron transistor. Also a comparison
between the power consumption of single electron transistor POWER LOSS ESTIMATION
and CMOS circuits are made.
TABLE l The power loss estimation of logic system is described in the
The theoretical comparisons between SET and CMOS are: following section. Dynamic Power Loss is calculated using (3)

CMOS SET circuit PT= (CPD+CL) VDD2f (3)

Maximal switching speed 10-10s 10-15s CPD - Power Dissipation Capacitor
Supply voltage range 100m 100µV CL - Load Capacitance
Current range nA afew electrons VDD – Supply Voltage
RBC sensitivity none γ f – Switching frequency
Maximum voltage gain high high
Maximum operation >3000C[1 difficult at 300K Static power loss can be estimated from the equivalent circuit
temperature 6] diagram an the parameter mentioned

It’s very clear from (3) that the power dissipation increases
with increase in frequency and decreases with decrease in
voltage level.
The logic circuit diagrams show that the no of transistor Table 4 summarizes the power estimation results,which provide
require to relize different logic gates is less in case of SET the qualitative comparison of CMOS and SET logic circuits.It
based logic system.The number of transistors require for shows that the SET based logic circuit Consume very low
realizing different logic gates using both CMOS & SET power (pico-watt range) where as CMOS circuits consume
technology are given in the Table 2 more power (milli-watt range).
OR2 6 One SEB
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In this paper,the analysis of Nano technology based SET logic

gates quantitatively as well as qualitatively and compared its
performamce with conventional CMOS technology based logic
gates.The comparison result shows that the SET based gates
consume ultra low power, and switches with very high speed.
The number of transistors require for realizing different logic
gates using SET are also less.These facts indicate that the future
ULSI technology, which requires higher integration, fast
switching and ultra low power consumption can be realized
with SET based logic system. The macro-modeling technique of
SET has been applied to the SPICE simulation of single-
electron/CMOS hybrid circuits. This technique is simple to
perform and does notrequire any modification of the SPICE
internal source code.


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