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Direct Observation of Mobile Protons in SiO2 Thin Films: Potential Application in a Novel Memory Device

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2011

K. Vanheusden
Affiliation:
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185–1349
W.L. Warren
Affiliation:
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185–1349
R. A. B. Devine
Affiliation:
France Télécom‐CNET, B.P. 98, 38243 Meylan, France
D. M. Fleetwood
Affiliation:
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185–1349
J. R. Schwank
Affiliation:
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185–1349
P. S. Winokur
Affiliation:
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185–1349
Z. J. Lemnios
Affiliation:
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, VA 22203–1714
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Abstract

In this work we show that annealing of silicon/silicon‐dioxide/silicon structures in forming gas (N2:H2; 95:5) above 500°C leads to spontaneous incorporation of mobile H+ ions in the buried SiO2 layer. We demonstrate that, unlike the alkali ions feared as killer contaminants in the early days, the space charge distribution of these mobile protons within the buried oxide layer can be very well controlled and easily rearranged with relatively high speed at room temperature. The hysteresis in the flat band voltage shift provides a unique vehicle to study proton kinetics in silicon dioxide thin films. It is further shown how this effect has great potential as the basis for a reliable nonvolatile FET memory device that is expected to be competitive with state‐of‐the‐art Si‐based memory technologies. The power of this novel device is its simplicity; it requires few processing steps, all of which are standard in Si integrated‐circuit fabrication.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1997

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