Self-substrate-triggered technique to enhance turn-on uniformity of multi-finger ESD protection devices

Ming-Dou Ker*, Jia Huei Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Scopus citations


    A novel self-substrate-triggered technique for on-chip ESD protection design is proposed to solve the non-uniform turn-on phenomenon of multi-finger gate-grounded nMOS (GGnMOS). The center-finger nMOS transistors in the multi-finger GGnMOS structure are always turned on first under ESD stress, so its source terminal is connected to the base (substrate) terminals of the other parasitic lateral n-p-n bipolar transistors (BJTs in the GGnMOS structure) to form the self-substrate-triggered design. With the proposed self-substrate- triggered technique, the first turned-on center-finger nMOS transistors are used to trigger on the others. Therefore, all fingers of GGnMOS can be triggered on simultaneously to discharge ESD current. From the experimental results verified in a 0.13-μm CMOS process with the thin gate oxide of 25 Å, the turn-on uniformity and ESD robustness of the GGnMOS can be greatly improved without increasing extra layout area through the proposed self-substrate-triggered technique.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1717682
    Pages (from-to)2601-2609
    Number of pages9
    JournalIEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
    Issue number11
    StatePublished - 1 Nov 2006


    • Electrostatic discharge (ESD)
    • Multi-finger gate-grounded nMOS
    • Non-uniform turn-on phenomenon
    • Self-substrate-triggered technique


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