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Choosing novel materials and structures is important for enhancing the on-state current in tunnel field-effect transistors (TFETs). In this paper, we reveal that the on-state performance of TFETs is mainly determined by the energy band profile of the channel. According to this interpretation, we present a new concept of energy band profile modulation (BPM) achieved with gate structure engineering. It is believed that this approach can be used to suppress the ambipolar effect. Based on this method, a Si TFET device with a symmetrical tri-material-gate (TMG) structure is proposed. Two-dimensional numerical simulations demonstrated that the special band profile in this device can boost on-state performance, and it also suppresses the off-state current induced by the ambipolar effect. These unique advantages are maintained over a wide range of gate lengths and supply voltages. The BPM concept can serve as a guideline for improving the performance of nanoscale TFET devices.


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