Speaker: Marko Sokolich
Affiliation: HRL Laboratories

The Best Junction for the Function:

Case Studies in Electron Device Design Through Material Selection, Band Engineering and Heterogenous Integration

In this talk I discuss the close coupling between Material Scientists and Electrical Engineers in designing electron devices. I outline three cases representing increasing levels of interaction between Mat. Sci. and EE to optimize electronic device performance. The first case is simple material selection, where the physics shows that the best material (as defined by a single figure of merit) produces the best electron device. The model device is a magnetoresistive sensor for automotive application. In this rare, decoupled case, interaction is low and each discipline optimizes in its own domain. The second case is that of optimizing high speed logic circuits with advanced semiconductors. In this case, device performance is enhanced by band engineering. No single intermediate figure-of-merit (FOM) is sufficient to drive either material or device development. Even more importantly, a feedback loop encompassing material optimization, device optimization and circuit optimization exists where it is not at all clear at the outset which material structure will produce the fastest circuits. In the final case I describe a situation where artificial constraints are overcome through a material science approach. Transistors of widely differing materials are intimately integrated heterogeneously at the subcircuit or logic gate level to produce leap-ahead differential amplifiers without altering the individual device technologies in any significant way. The complexity of the situation requires extremely close coupling between material scientists and electrical engineering at every stage of development. A key take-away from these case studies is that enhanced interaction between materials science and electronics design can enlarge the trade-space to optimize electronic functions. This fruitful interaction can (and has) resulted in discontinuous performance improvement in electron devices.


Marko Sokolich – Is a special consultant at HRL Laboratories LLC (the former Hughes Research Labs) in Malibu California. He retired as the Deputy Director of the Microelectronics Laboratory at HRL in 2014. He was the HRL program manager for the DARPA sponsored TFAST effort, a program with the goal of developing advanced integrated circuit processes in InP for circuits clocking at up to 150 GHz. Previously he was the IC Process Engineering Manager at HRL responsible for developing two generations of InP High Speed HBT technology.   Prior to that he was the Process Engineering Manager at the Hughes Gallium Arsenide Operations where he was responsible for GaAs MESFET and PHEMT MMIC development and for InSb magnetoresistor development. Dr. Sokolich was awarded the Hughes Aircraft Chairman’s Award for innovation in 1998 for transistor design leading to 75 GHz clock rate circuits. Dr. Sokolich has 35 years of experience in the design and realization of III-V and Silicon semiconductor devices and circuits, he is a coauthor of over 100 publications in journals and conference proceedings and holds 18 patents relating to electron devices.   He received his B.S. in Engineering Physics and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1979 and 1982 respectively. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1989 and an MBA in 1997. He regularly teaches semiconductor device physics at UCLA.




Date(s) - Jun 09, 2017
10:30 am - 12:00 pm


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