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United States Patent Application 20070170512
Kind Code A1
Gauthier, Jr.; Robert J. ;   et al. July 26, 2007

ELECTROSTATIC DISCHARGE PROTECTION DEVICE AND METHOD OF FABRICATING SAME

Abstract

Disclosed are a silicon control rectifier, a method of making the silicon control rectifier and the use of the silicon control rectifier as an electrostatic discharge protection device of an integrated circuit. The silicon control rectifier includes a silicon body formed in a silicon layer in direct physical contact with a buried oxide layer of a silicon-on-insulator substrate, a top surface of the silicon layer defining a horizontal plane; and an anode of the silicon control rectifier formed in a first region of the silicon body and a cathode of the silicon control rectifier formed in an opposite second region of the silicon body, wherein a path of current flow between the anode and the cathode is only in a single horizontal direction parallel to the horizontal plane.


Inventors: Gauthier, Jr.; Robert J.; (Hinesburg, VT) ; Li; Junjun; (Williston, VT) ; Mitra; Souvick; (Burlington, VT) ; Mousa; Mahmoud A.; (Poughkeepsie, NY) ; Putnam; Christopher Stephen; (Hinesburg, VT)
Correspondence Address:
    SCHMEISER, OLSEN & WATTS
    22 CENTURY HILL DRIVE
    SUITE 302
    LATHAM
    NY
    12110
    US
Serial No.: 275638
Series Code: 11
Filed: January 20, 2006

Current U.S. Class: 257/357; 257/E21.703; 257/E27.112; 257/E29.225
Class at Publication: 257/357
International Class: H01L 23/62 20060101 H01L023/62


Claims



1. A silicon control rectifier, comprising: silicon body formed in a silicon layer in direct physical contact with a buried oxide layer of a silicon-on-insulator substrate, a top surface of said silicon layer defining a horizontal plane; and an anode of said silicon control rectifier formed in a first region of said silicon body and a cathode of said silicon control rectifier formed in an opposite second region of said silicon body, wherein a path of current flow between said anode and said cathode is only in a single horizontal direction parallel to said horizontal plane.

2. The silicon control rectifier of claim 1, wherein said first region is doped P-type and said second region is doped N-type.

3. The silicon control rectifier of claim 2, further including a third region doped N-type and a fourth region doped P-type, said third region between and abutting said first and fourth regions, said fourth region between and abutting said second and third regions, said third region not abutting said second region, said fourth region not abutting said first region.

4. The silicon control rectifier of claim 3: wherein a net peak doping concentration of said first region is greater than a net peak doping concentration of said third region and a net peak doping concentration of said fourth region; and wherein a net peak doping concentration of said second region is greater than said net peak doping concentration of said third region and said net peak doping concentration of said fourth region.

5. The silicon control rectifier of claim 4, wherein said net peak doping concentration of said fourth region is greater than said net peak doping concentration of said third region.

6. The silicon control rectifier of claim 4, wherein said net peak doping concentrations of said first and second regions are both at least two orders of magnitude greater than said net peak doping concentrations of both of said third and fourth regions.

7. The silicon control rectifier of claim 3, wherein said first region includes a highly doped P-type region and a less highly doped P-type region, said less highly doped P-type region between and abutting said highly doped P-type region and said third region.

8. The silicon control rectifier of claim 7, further including: a first polysilicon gate over said less highly doped P-doped region, said less highly doped region contained completely under said first polysilicon gate; and a second polysilicon gate over said fourth region, said fourth region contained completely under said second polysilicon gate.

9. A silicon control rectifier, comprising: a silicon layer in direct physical contact with a buried oxide layer of a silicon-on-insulator substrate, a top surface of said silicon layer defining a horizontal plane; a first doped region in said silicon layer, said first doped region having a first net peak doping concentration, a second doped region having a second net peak doping concentration and a third doped region having a third net peak doping concentration, said second and third net peak doping concentrations being a same doping concentration, said first doped region between and abutting said second and third doped regions, said second and third doped regions not abutting; a fourth doped region in said silicon layer in said silicon layer, said fourth doped region having a fourth net peak doping concentration in said silicon layer, said fourth doped region abutting only said second doped region; a fifth doped region in said silicon layer, said fifth doped region having a fifth net peak doping concentration in said silicon layer, said fifth doped region abutting only said third doped region; wherein a path of current flow from said fourth doped region, through said second doped region, said first doped region and said third doped region to said fifth doped region, is in a single horizontal direction parallel to said horizontal plane.

10. The silicon control rectifier of claim 9, wherein said first and fifth doped regions are doped N-type and said second, third and fourth doped regions are doped P-type.

11. The silicon control rectifier of claim 9: wherein a net peak doping concentration of said fourth doped region is greater than a net peak doping concentration of said first doped region and a net peak doping concentration of said third doped region; and wherein a net peak doping concentration of said fifth doped region is greater than said net peak doping concentration of said first doped region and said net peak doping concentration of said third doped region.

12. The silicon control rectifier of claim 9, wherein said net peak doping concentration of said third doped region is greater than said net peak doping concentration of said first region.

13. The silicon control rectifier of claim 9, wherein said net peak doping concentrations of said fourth and fifth doped regions are both at least two orders of magnitude greater than said net peak doping concentrations of both of said first and third doped regions.

14. The silicon control rectifier of claim 9, further including: a first polysilicon gate over second doped region, said second doped region contained completely under said first polysilicon gate; and a second polysilicon gate over said third doped region, said third doped region contained completely under said second polysilicon gate.

15. The method of claim 9, further including: a sixth doped region in said silicon layer, said fourth and sixth doped regions having a same dopant species and net peak doping concentration, said sixth doped region abutting only said third and fifth doped regions.

16. The method of claim 9, further including: a seventh doped region in said silicon layer, said fifth and seventh doped regions having a same dopant species and net peak doping concentration, said seventh doped region abutting only said first, second and third doped regions.

17. A method of fabricating a silicon control rectifier, comprising: forming a blanket doped region having a net peak doping concentration in a silicon layer in direct physical contact with a buried oxide layer of a silicon-on-insulator substrate, a top surface of said silicon layer defining a horizontal plane; forming a first doped region in said silicon layer, said first doped region having a first net peak doping concentration, said first doped region dividing said blanket doped region into a second doped region having a second net peak doping concentration and a third doped region having a third net peak doping concentration, said second and third net peak doping concentrations being a same doping concentration, said first doped region between and abutting said second and third doped regions, said second and third doped regions not abutting; forming a fourth doped region in said silicon layer, said fourth doped region having a fourth net peak doping concentration in said silicon layer, said fourth doped region abutting only said second doped region; forming a fifth doped region in said silicon layer, said fifth doped region having a fifth net peak doping concentration in said silicon layer, said fifth doped region abutting only said third doped region; wherein a path of current flow from said fourth doped region, through said second doped region, said first doped region and said third doped region to said fifth doped region, is in a single horizontal direction parallel to said horizontal plane.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein said first and fifth doped regions are doped N-type and said second, third and fourth doped regions are doped P-type.

19. The method of claim 17: wherein a net peak doping concentration of said fourth doped region is greater than a net peak doping concentration of said first doped region and a net peak doping concentration of said third doped region; and wherein a net peak doping concentration of said fifth doped region is greater than said net peak doping concentration of said first doped region and said net peak doping concentration of said third doped region.

20. The method of claim 17, wherein said net peak doping concentration of said third doped region is greater than said net peak doping concentration of said first region.

21. The method of claim 17, wherein said net peak doping concentrations of said fourth and fifth doped regions are both at least two orders of magnitude greater than said net peak doping concentrations of both of said first and third doped regions.

22. The method of claim 17, further including: forming a first polysilicon gate over second doped region, said second doped region contained completely under said first polysilicon gate; and forming a second polysilicon gate over said third doped region, said third doped region contained completely under said second polysilicon gate.

23. The method of claim 17, further including: adjusting a distance between said second and third doped regions in order to adjust the turn-on speed of said silicon control rectifier.

24. The method of claim 23, further including: adjusting a width of said first doped region in order to adjust a current carrying capacity of said silicon control rectifier, said width measured in a direction perpendicular to said distance.

25. The method of claim 17, further including: forming a sixth doped region in said silicon layer simultaneously with said forming said fourth doped region, said fourth and sixth doped regions having a same dopant species and net peak doping concentration, said sixth doped region abutting only said third and fifth doped regions.

26. The method of claim 17, further including: forming a seventh doped region in said silicon layer simultaneously with said forming said fifth doped region, said fifth and seventh doped regions having a same dopant species and net peak doping concentration, said seventh doped region abutting only said first, second and third doped regions.

27. An electrostatic discharge circuit for an integrated circuit comprising: the silicon control rectifier of claim 3; said first region electrically coupled to an I/O pad and a circuit of said integrated circuit; said second region coupled to ground; and said third region electrically coupled to VDD.

28. An electrostatic discharge circuit for an integrated circuit comprising: the silicon control rectifier of claim 9; said first doped region electrically coupled to VDD; said fourth doped region electrically coupled to an I/O pad and a circuit of said integrated circuit; and said fifth doped region coupled to ground.

29. The electrostatic discharge circuit of claim 28, further including: a first polysilicon gate over second doped region, said second doped region contained completely under said first polysilicon gate; and a second polysilicon gate over said third doped region, said third doped region contained completely under said second polysilicon gate, said first and second polysilicon gates electrically connected to each other.

30. The electrostatic discharge circuit of claim 29, wherein said first and second polysilicon gates are electrically coupled to ground.
Description



FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to the field of integrated circuits; more specifically, it relates to an electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection device for use in integrated circuits fabricated on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates and a method of fabricating the ESD protection device.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] In order to meet increasing performance targets, advanced complimentary metal-oxide-silicon (CMOS) technologies are being scaled down in size to the point that sensitivity to ESD is becoming a significant reliability problem. The use of silicon control rectifiers (SCRs) to protect CMOS technologies built with bulk silicon substrates is known in the industry. However, current SCR-based ESD protection devices suffer from high junction capacitance and current crowding making them unsuitable for CMOS technologies built with SOI substrates. Therefore, there is an ongoing need for an SCR device for electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection in integrated circuits fabricated on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] A first aspect of the present invention is a silicon control rectifier, comprising: silicon body formed in a silicon layer in direct physical contact with a buried oxide layer of a silicon-on-insulator substrate, a top surface of the silicon layer defining a horizontal plane; and an anode of the silicon control rectifier formed in a first region of the silicon body and a cathode of the silicon control rectifier formed in an opposite second region of the silicon body, wherein a path of current flow between the anode and the cathode is only in a single horizontal direction parallel to the horizontal plane.

[0004] A second aspect of the present invention is a silicon control rectifier, comprising: a silicon layer in direct physical contact with a buried oxide layer of a silicon-on-insulator substrate, a top surface of the silicon layer defining a horizontal plane; a first doped region in the silicon layer, the first doped region having a first net peak doping concentration, a second doped region having a second net peak doping concentration and a third doped region having a third net peak doping concentration, the second and third net peak doping concentrations being a same doping concentration, the first doped region between and abutting the second and third doped regions, the second and third doped regions not abutting; a fourth doped region in the silicon layer in the silicon layer, the fourth doped region having a fourth net peak doping concentration in the silicon layer, the fourth doped region abutting only the second doped region; a fifth doped region in the silicon layer, the fifth doped region having a fifth net peak doping concentration in the silicon layer, the fifth doped region abutting only the third doped region; wherein a path of current flow from the fourth doped region, through the second doped region, the first doped region and the third doped region to the fifth doped region, is in a single horizontal direction parallel to the horizontal plane.

[0005] A third aspect of the present invention is a method of fabricating a silicon control rectifier, comprising: forming a blanket doped region having a net peak doping concentration in a silicon layer in direct physical contact with a buried oxide layer of a silicon-on-insulator substrate, a top surface of the silicon layer defining a horizontal plane; forming a first doped region in the silicon layer, the first doped region having a first net peak doping concentration, the first doped region dividing the blanket doped region into a second doped region having a second net peak doping concentration and a third doped region having a third net peak doping concentration, the second and third net peak doping concentrations being a same doping concentration, the first doped region between and abutting the second and third doped regions, the second and third doped regions not abutting; forming a fourth doped region in the silicon layer, the fourth doped region having a fourth net peak doping concentration in the silicon layer, the fourth doped region abutting only the second doped region; forming a fifth doped region in the silicon layer, the fifth doped region having a fifth net peak doping concentration in the silicon layer, the fifth doped region abutting only the third doped region; wherein a path of current flow from the fourth doped region, through the second doped region, the first doped region and the third doped region to the fifth doped region, is in a single horizontal direction parallel to the horizontal plane.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0006] The features of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, will be best understood by reference to the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0007] FIG. 1A is a plan view and 1B is a cross-section through line 1B-1B of FIG. 1A illustrating a first step in the fabrication of an SCR ESD protection device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0008] FIG. 2A is a plan view and 2B is a cross-section through line 2B-2B of FIG. 2A illustrating a second step in the fabrication of an SCR ESD protection device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0009] FIG. 3A is a plan view and 3B is a cross-section through line 3B-3B of FIG. 3A illustrating a third step in the fabrication of an SCR ESD protection device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0010] FIG. 4A is a plan view and 4B is a cross-section through line 4B-4B of FIG. 4A illustrating a fourth step in the fabrication of an SCR ESD protection device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0011] FIG. 5A is a plan view and 5B is a cross-section through line 5B-5B of FIG. 5A illustrating a fifth step in the fabrication of an SCR ESD protection device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0012] FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of an ESD protection circuit according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0013] FIG. 7A is a plan view and 7B is a cross-section through line 7B-7B of FIG. 7A illustrating the ESD protection circuit of FIG. 5 superimposed over the SCR ESD protection device illustrated in FIGS. 5A and 5B, and

[0014] FIG. 8 is a simulated lateral profile of an SCR ESD protection device according to the embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0015] CMOS devices comprise N-channel field effect transistors (NFETs) and P-channel field effect transistors (PFETs). NFETs are fabricated in a P-well with region of the P-well under a gate electrode comprising the channel of the NFET and N-doped source/drains formed in the P-well on either side of gate. PFETs are fabricated in an N-well with region of the N-well under a gate electrode comprising the channel of the PFET and P-doped source/drains formed in the N-well on either side of gate.

[0016] FIG. 1A is a plan view and 1B is a cross-section through line 1B-1B of FIG. 1A illustrating a first step in the fabrication of an SCR ESD protection device according to an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 1A, a region of shallow trench isolation (STI) 100 having a perimeter 105 surrounds a P-well 110.

[0017] In FIG. 1B, it can be seen P-well 110 and STI 100 are formed in a single crystal silicon layer 115. Silicon layer 115 is formed in over a buried oxide layer (BOX) 120. BOX 120 is formed over a bulk silicon substrate 125. Silicon layer 115, BOX 120 and substrate 125 comprise an SOI substrate 130.

[0018] BOX 110 may be formed by forming a patterned mask over silicon layer 115, etching away regions of the silicon layer not protected by the patterned mask down to BOX 120, depositing an oxide to back fill the regions of silicon layer etched away and performing a chemical-mechanical polish (CMP) so that a top surface of P-well 110 is coplanar with a top surface of STI 100. The patterned mask, may be a hard-mask, for example, a patterned layer of silicon nitride (Si.sub.3N.sub.4) that itself was patterned using a photolithographic process. Silicon layer 115 may be etched, for example, by reactive ion etching (RIE).

[0019] P-well 110 may be formed by ion-implantation of a boron species, in one example, implantation of BF.sub.2. The boron ion-implantation may be performed through a thin oxide layer (not shown in FIG. 1B). In one example, P-well 110 has a peak boron concentration between about 2E18 atoms/cm.sup.3 and about 7E18 atoms/cm.sup.3. A peak dopant concentration is the highest concentration of a dopant within a given region.

[0020] Formation of P-well 110 may be performed simultaneously with formation of the P-wells of CMOS NFETs used in the functional circuits of an integrated circuit to be protected by the SCR ESD protection device whose fabrication is being described.

[0021] FIG. 2A is a plan view and 2B is a cross-section through line 2B-2B of FIG. 2A illustrating a second step in the fabrication of an SCR ESD protection device according to an embodiment of the present invention. In FIGS. 2A and 2B, an N-well region 135 is formed in silicon layer 115. N-well region 135 divides P-well 110 (see FIGS. 1A and 1B) into a first P-well region 110A and a second P-well region 110B. A first side of N-well region 135 abuts first P-well region 110A along a first PN junction 137 and an opposite second side of N-well region 135 abuts first P-well region 110B along a second PN junction 138.

[0022] N-well region 135 may be formed by forming a patterned photoresist mask over silicon layer 115, ion implanting an N-type dopant species into the silicon layer where the silicon layer is not protected by the photoresist mask and then removing the photoresist mask.

[0023] N-well 135 region may be formed by ion-implantation a N-dopant species, in one example, by ion implantation of arsenic (As). The As ion-implantation may be performed through a thin oxide layer (not shown in FIG. 2B). In one example, N-well 135 region has a peak boron concentration between about 6E17 atoms/cm.sup.3 and about 1E18 atoms/cm.sup.3.

[0024] Formation of N-well region 135 may be performed simultaneously with formation of the N-wells of CMOS PFETs used in the functional circuits of an integrated circuit to be protected by the SCR ESD protection device whose fabrication is being described.

[0025] FIG. 3A is a plan view and 3B is a cross-section through line 3B-3B of FIG. 3A illustrating a third step in the fabrication of an SCR ESD protection device according to an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 3A, a gate stack 140 is formed over first P-well region 110A, second P-well region 110B and N-well region 135. A first gate region 145 of gate stack 140 overlaps first P-well region 110A and the first side of N-well region 135 (PN junction 137). A second gate stack region 150 of gate stack 140 overlaps second P-well region 110B and the second side of N-well region 135 (PN junction 138).

[0026] First and second gate stack regions 145 and 150 extend parallel to each other. First and second gate stack regions 145 and 150 are connected by an integrally formed spine 152 perpendicular to the first and second gate stack regions. A second integrally formed spine 153 extends perpendicular to second gate stack region 150 on an opposite side of gate stack region from spine 152. Opposite ends of first gate stack region 145 and opposite ends of second gate stack region 150 overlap perimeter 105. Spine 152 does not overlap perimeter 105. The end of spine 153 not joined to second gate stack region 150 overlaps perimeter 105.

[0027] In FIG. 3B, first gate stack region 145 and second gate stack region 150 comprise a polysilicon layer 155 over a gate dielectric layer 160. Though gate dielectric layer 160 is shown only under first and second gate stack regions 145 and 150, the gate dielectric layer may extend over the entire top of surface of silicon layer 115.

[0028] Gate stack 140 may be formed by forming a blanket gate dielectric layer over silicon layer 115, forming a blanket polysilicon layer over the gate dielectric layer, forming a patterned photoresist mask over the blanket polysilicon layer, etching away regions of the blanket polysilicon silicon layer not protected by the patterned photoresist mask down to the blanket dielectric layer to form a patterned polysilicon layer, removing the photoresist mask and optionally etching away the blanket dielectric layer not protected by the patterned polysilicon. The blanket polysilicon layer may be etched, for example, using an RIE. The blanket gate dielectric may be etched, for example, using an RIE or by wet etching.

[0029] Formation of gate stack 140 may be performed simultaneously with formation of the gate electrodes of CMOS PFETs and/or NFETs used in the functional circuits of an integrated circuit to be protected by the SCR ESD protection device whose fabrication is being described.

[0030] FIG. 4A is a plan view and 4B is a cross-section through line 4B-4B of FIG. 4A illustrating a fourth step in the fabrication of an SCR ESD protection device according to an embodiment of the present invention. In FIGS. 4A and 4B, highly doped first and second P-type regions 165 and 170 are formed in silicon layer 115. First P-type region 165 is formed in a region of first P-well region 110A. A portion of first P-well 110A region remains between N-well region 135 and first P-type region 165 under first gate stack region 145. A interface 172 separates the remaining first P-well region 110A from first P-type region 165. A interface 173 separates the remaining second P-well region 110B from second P-type region 170.

[0031] First and second P-type regions 165 and 170 may be formed by forming a patterned photoresist mask over silicon layer 115, ion implanting a P-type dopant species into the silicon layer where the silicon layer is not protected by the photoresist mask or gate stack 140 and then removing the photoresist mask.

[0032] First and second P-type regions 165 and 170 may be formed by ion-implantation of a boron species, in one example, implantation of BF.sub.2. The boron ion-implantation may be performed through a thin oxide layer (not shown in FIG. 4B). In one example, first and second P-type regions 165 and 170 have a peak boron concentration between about 1E20 atoms/cm.sup.3 and about 2E20 atoms/cm.sup.3.

[0033] Formation of first and second P-type regions 165 and 170 may be performed simultaneously with formation of the source/drains of CMOS PFETs used in the functional circuits of an integrated circuit to be protected by the SCR ESD protection device whose fabrication is being described

[0034] FIG. 5A is a plan view and 5B is a cross-section through line 5B-5B of FIG. 5A illustrating a fifth step in the fabrication of an SCR ESD protection device according to an embodiment of the present invention. In FIGS. 5A and 5B, highly doped first and second N-type regions 175 and 180 are formed in silicon layer 115. A portion of first P-well 110A region remains between second P-type region 170 and first N-type region 175 under spine 152 of gate stack 140 and remains between first N-type region 175 and second P-well region 110B under second gate stack region 150. A PN junction 182 separates the remaining second P-well region 110B from first N-type region 175. Second N-type region 180 is formed between first and second P-well regions 110A and 110B and abuts first N-type region 135 along a interface 183 and PN junctions 137 and 138.

[0035] First and second N-type regions 175 and 180 may be formed by forming a patterned photoresist mask over silicon layer 115, ion implanting an N-type dopant species into the silicon layer where the silicon layer is not protected by the photoresist mask or gate stack 140 and then removing the photoresist mask.

[0036] First and second N-type regions 175 and 180 may be formed by ion-implantation of phosphorus. The phosphorus ion-implantation may be performed through a thin oxide layer (not shown in FIG. 5B). In one example, first and second N-type regions 175 and 180 have a peak boron concentration between about 1E20 atoms/cm.sup.3 and about 2E20 atoms/cm.sup.3.

[0037] Formation of first and second N-type regions 175 and 180 may be performed simultaneously with formation of the source/drains of CMOS NFETs used in the functional circuits of an integrated circuit to be protected by an SCR ESD protection device (herein after SCR) 185 whose fabrication is now essentially complete. It should be understood that the various PN junctions 137, 138 and 182 and interfaces 172, 173 and 183 are illustrated under gate stack 140. Even though edges of gate stack 140 are used to define PN junctions 137, 138 and 182 and interfaces 172, 173 and 183, various heat cycles and other processes cause the dopants to diffuse under the gate stack. Also, structures such as sidewall spacers (well known in the art) on the sides of gate stack 140 may be present before or after the various ion implantations processes described but have not been shown for clarity. Sides of gate stack 140 project in a vertical plane perpendicular to the plane of the paper of, for example, FIG. 5A.

[0038] FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of an ESD protection circuit 190 according to an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 6, ESD protection circuit 190 includes SCR 185, an I/O pad 195 and circuit(s) 200 of an integrated circuit to be protected. SCR 185 comprises a bipolar PNP transistor T1, an NPN bipolar transistor T2 and first and second resistors R1 and R2. A first terminal of resistor R2 is connected to VDD and a second terminal of resistor R2 is connected to the base of transistor T1 and the collector of transistor T2. The emitter of transistor T1 is connected to I/O pad 195 and circuit(s) 200. The collector of transistor T1 is connected to the base of transistor T2 and a first terminal of resistor R1. A second terminal of resistor R1 and the emitter of transistor T2 are connected to ground.

[0039] FIG. 7A is a plan view and 7B is a cross-section through line 7B-7B of FIG. 7A illustrating the ESD protection circuit of FIG. 5 superimposed over SCR 185 illustrated in FIGS. 5A and 5B. In FIG. 7A, first transistor T1 comprises first P-type region 165 and first P-well region 110A as the emitter of transistor T1, N-well region 135 as the base of transistor T1 and second P-well region 110B as the collector of transistor T1. Second transistor T2 comprises first N-type region 175 a as the emitter of transistor T2, second P-well region 110B as the base of transistor T2 and N-well region 135 as the collector of transistor T2. First P-type region 165 may be considered an anode and first N-type region 175 may be considered the cathode of SCR 185.

[0040] Second P-type region 170 may be used to provide contact to first P-well region 110B which is located under gate stack 140 as well as being lightly doped Second N-type region 180 may be used to contact N-well region 135 which is lightly doped. A wire contacting lightly doped silicon (i.e. less than about 1E18 dopant atm/cm.sup.3) results in a high resistance contact, while a wire contacting highly doped silicon (i.e. greater than about 1E18 dopant atm/cm.sup.3) results in a lower resistance contact. A metal silicide layer formed on the top surface of silicon regions, as is known in the art, may be used to further reduce contact resistance. Care must be taken to avoid shorts to gate stack 140, for example, by forming dielectric spacers on the sidewalls of gate stack 140.

[0041] In FIG. 7B, it can be seen that first P-type region 165 is connected to I/O pad 195 and circuit(s) 200. First N-type region 175 is connected to ground and N-well region 135 is connected to VDD. Connections to I/O 195, circuit(s) 200, VDD and ground are by wires or metal contact studs (not shown) contacting first P-type region 165, and N-type region 180 (which is physically touching and electrically connected to N-well region 135) and first N-type region 175 respectfully. A metal silicide layer as described supra (not shown) may be formed on the top surfaces of first P-type region 165, N-well region 135 and first N-type region 175 to ensure a low resistance contact (also known as an ohmic contact). Also resistor R1 is seen to be the internal resistance of first N-type region 175 and resistor R2 is seen to be the internal resistance of N-well 135.

[0042] Gates 145 and 150 are not functional elements of SCR 185. In one example, gates 145 and 150 are floating. In another example gates 145 and 150 are connected to ground. With gate 145 and 150 grounded, there will be some current leakage between N-well region 135 and first N-type region 175.

[0043] Charge dissipation current flow in SCR 185 is from first P-type region 165 (the anode of the SCR) through first P-well region 110A, N-well region 135, second P-well region 110B to first N-type region 175 along a current path 205. Current path 205 is a single straight line current path in a first horizontal direction defined by line 7B-7B and all planes parallel to a plane defined by the top surface of silicon layer 115. Current flow in SCR 185 is only in a single horizontal direction as opposed to prior art SCR devices where the current must turn about 90.degree. from emitter 1 to the base/collectors and another 90.degree. from the base/collectors to emitter 2. Thus, in the prior art devices, charge dissipation current is flowing in two different horizontal directions. The change in horizontal direction of current flow in prior art SCRs cause current crowding, limiting the amount of charge that can be dissipated.

[0044] The speed of turn on of SCR 185 is controlled by distance L (in the first horizontal direction between PN junction 137 and PN junction 138: the larger the value of L, the slower the turn on of SCR 185; the smaller the value of L, the faster the turn on of SCR 185. In one example L is between about 100 and 250 nm. W is the width (in the second horizontal direction) of N-well region 135 and along with the depth D (in a vertical direction) and the doping concentration of the N-well region controls the amount of current SCR 185 can carry. W, L and D are mutually orthogonal.

[0045] FIG. 8 is a simulated lateral profile of an SCR ESD protection device according to the embodiments of the present invention. The term lateral direction refers to a direction parallel to the first horizontal direction (and not to the second horizontal direction) as described supra. A peak concentration is a maximum doping concentration in a given region. A net doping concentration is the difference between the doping concentrations of a first dopant type and a second and opposite dopant type, the concentration of the first dopant type being greater than the concentration of the second dopant type. Thus, a net peak doping concentration is the maximum difference between the doping concentration of a first dopant type less the doping concentration of a second dopant type, the concentration of the first dopant type being greater than the concentration of the second dopant type. The concentration of the second dopant type may be zero. The terms doped P-type or doped N-type should be understood to mean net doping. For example, a region having both N- and P-type dopants, with a higher concentration of N-type dopant than P-type dopant would be considered to be doped N-type and vice versa.

[0046] In FIG. 8, curve 210 represents an approximate and exemplary lateral doping profile for SCR 185 of FIG. 7A. Point 215 marks the PN junction between the portions of SCR 185 formed from P-type region 165 and first P-well region 110A (see FIG. 7A) and N-well region 135 (see FIG. 7A). Point 220 marks the PN junction between the portions of SCR 185 formed from N-well region 135 (see FIG. 7A) and P-well region 110B (see FIG. 7A). Point 225 marks the PN junction between the portions of SCR 185 formed from P-well region 110B (see FIG. 7A) and N-type region 175 (see FIG. 7A).

[0047] In one example, the peak doping concentrations of P-type region 165 and N-type regions 175 are advantageously each greater than a peak doping concentration of N-well region 135 and a peak doping concentration of P-well region 110B. In one example, the peak doping concentration of P-well region 110B is advantageously greater than the peak doping concentration of N-well region 135. In one, example, the peak doping concentrations of P-type region 165 and N-type regions 175 are advantageously each at least two orders of magnitude greater than the peak doping concentrations of both said P-well region 110B and said N-well region 135.

[0048] Thus, the embodiments of the present invention provides an SCR device for ESD protection in integrated circuits fabricated on silicon-on-insulator SOI substrates.

[0049] The description of the embodiments of the present invention is given above for the understanding of the present invention. It will be understood that the invention is not limited to the particular embodiments described herein, but is capable of various modifications, rearrangements and substitutions as will now become apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention. Therefore, it is intended that the following claims cover all such modifications and changes as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

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