Dependence of nanocrystal formation and charge storage/retention performance of a tri-layer memory structure on germanium concentration and tunnel oxide thickness
Author(s)Teo, L.W.; Ho, Van Tai; Tay, M.S.; Choi, Wee Kiong; Chim, Wai Kin; Antoniadis, Dimitri A.; Fitzgerald, Eugene A.; ... Show more Show less
The effect of germanium (Ge) concentration and the rapid thermal oxide (RTO) layer thickness on the nanocrystal formation and charge storage/retention capability of a trilayer metal-insulator-semiconductor device was studied. We found that the RTO and the capping oxide layers were not totally effective in confining the Ge nanocrystals in the middle layer when a pure Ge middle layer was used for the formation of nanocrystals. From the transmission electron microscopy and secondary ion mass spectroscopy results, a significant diffusion of Ge atoms through the RTO and into the silicon (Si) substrate was observed when the RTO layer thickness was reduced to 2.5 nm. This resulted in no (or very few) nanocrystals formed in the system. For devices with a Ge+SiO₂ co-sputtered middle layer (i.e., lower Ge concentration), a higher charge storage capability was obtained than with devices with a thinner RTO layer, and the charge retention time was found to be less than in devices with a thicker RTO layer.
Advanced Materials for Micro- and Nano-Systems (AMMNS);
Ge nanocrystal, floating gate, metal-insulator-semiconductor