Base current reversal phenomenon is newly observed in a CMOS compatible high gain n-p-n gated lateral bipolar transistor. We attribute this phenomenon to avalanche generation as verified experimentally and by two-dimensional device simulation. Detailed investigation reveals that: i) the multiplication ratio increases exponentially with the collector voltage or equivalently the peak field at the surface collector corner; and ii) the multiplication ratio is independent of not only the low level base-emitter forward biases applied but also the base width of the transistors fabricated by the same process. Design guideline for suppression of the base current reversal has been established such as to fully realize the potential of the gated lateral bipolar transistors, i.e., a very high current gain of 11,600 can be maintained as long as the power supply voltage is less than the critical value of 1.78 V. On the other hand, new application directly employing this phenomenon has been suggested. Comparisons between the base current reversal phenomenon in the gated lateral bipolar transistor and that in the vertical bipolar transistor have also been performed and significant differences between the two have been drawn and have been adequately explained.
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