Time-Dependent Dielectric Breakdown studies were performed on 6.5-, 9-, 15-, 20-, and 22.5- nm thick SiO2 films over a wide range of stress temperatures and electric fields. Very high temperatures (400 °C) were used to accelerate breakdown so that stress tests could be performed at low electric fields close to those used for device operating conditions. The results indicate that the dependence of TDDB on electric field and temperature is different from that reported in earlier studies. Specifically, the electric-field-acceleration parameter is independent of temperature and the thermal activation energy was determined to be between 0.7 and 0.9 eV for stress fields below 7.0 MV/cm.
Failure distributions of high-quality current-generation oxide films are shown to be of single mode and have dispersions that are not sensitive to stress electric field or temperature, unlike distributions observed for oxides examined in earlier studies. These results have implications on the choice of the correct physical model to describe TDDB in thin films. The data also demonstrate for the first time the reliability of silicon dioxide films at very high temperatures.