The idea of realizing semiconductor devices in a thin silicon film is mechanically supported by an insulating substrate has been around for several decades. The first description of the insulated-gate field-effect transistor (IGFET), which evolved into the modern silicon metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), is found in the historical patent of Lilienfield dating from 1926 [1]. This patent depicts a three-terminal device where the source-to-drain current is controlled by a field effect from a gate, dielectrically insulated from the rest of the device. The piece of semiconductor which constituted the active part of the device was a thin semiconductor film deposited on an insulator. In a sense, it can thus be said that the first MOSFET was a Semiconductor-onInsulator (SOI) device. The technology of that time was unfortunately unable to produce a successfully operating Lilienfield device. IGFET technology was then forgotten for a while, completely overshadowed by the enormous success of the bipolar transistor discovered in 1947 [2].


Parasitic Capacitance Bipolar Transistor Thin Silicon Film CMOS Inverter Thin Semiconductor Film 
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  1. 1.
    J.E. Lilienfield, U.S. patents 1,745,175 (filed 1926, issued 1930), 1,877,140 (filed 1928, issued 1932), and 1,900,018 (filed 1928, issued 1933 )Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    see for example: W. Shockley, “The path to the conception of the junction transistor”, IEEE Trans. on Electron Devices, Vol. 23, No. 7, p. 597, July 1976CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    see for example: D. Kahng, “A historical perspective on the development of MOS transistors and related devices”, IEEE Trans. on Electron Devices, Vol. 23, No. 7, p. 655, July 1976CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    R.R. Troutman, Latchup in CMOS Technology Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1986Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Pierre Colinge
    • 1
  1. 1.Université catholique de LouvainBelgium

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