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Recently there has been a paradigm shift in nonvolatile computer memories from silicon-technology-based EEPROMs (electrically erasable, programmable read-only memories) to devices in which the stored information is coded into + and − polarizations in thin-film ferroelectric capacitors. Such devices have read and erase/rewrite speeds of the order of 1–35 ns, many orders of magnitude faster than the erase/rewrite speeds of the best EEPROMs (Table I). However, fundamental questions concerning their lifetimes had delayed full commercialization. Because ferroelectrics normally have extremely large dielectric constants, their use as nonswitching capacitors in dynamic random-access memories (DRAMs) is also rapidly evolving. The majority of studies to date have emphasized lead zirconate titanate (PZT)-based capacitors for nonvolatile ferroelectric random-access memories (NVFRAMs) and barium strontium titanate-based capacitor DRAMs (see Table II).
The transmission electron microscope (TEM) is one of the most useful tools available to the materials scientist. Yet both the complexity and expense of the equipment, and the huge investment in time necessary to become proficient in specimen preparation and image acquisition and analysis, mean that it is difficult for most industrial institutions to maintain a state-of-the-art TEM facility. How can industry overcome this problem? One solution is to set up a collaboration with a university, an industrial partner, or a government research laboratory. Such collaborations can be extremely valuable to the company, which gains access to microscopes, specimen-preparation equipment and the expertise of professional microscopists, and to the research laboratory, which benefits from the industrial perspective and the private sector's proficiency in materials preparation and processing.
Such collaborations exist, and they can produce excellent results. In this article, we present three case studies in which successful collaboration has occurred between industry and one of the Department of Energy's scientific user facilities, the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM-see sidebar). Our aim is not only to describe results that we hope will be of scientific interest but also to encourage industrial researchers to consider collaborations with institutes such as NCEM.
Rapid thermal oxidation of silicon has been performed in a tungsten-halogen system (AG-410) and a water-wall arc lamp system (Eaton ROA-400). Growth kinetics of the oxides are studied with particular attention to ramp-up ambient conditions, dwell time, maximum wafer temperature and difference in activation energies. These parameters are characterized using ellipsometry in order to measure system bias with respect to growth rate and breakdown. Experiments were designed to identify the differences in the initial enhanced growth conditions, and their effect on growth kinetics during the dwell cycle.
Rapid thermal diffusion of zinc into semi-insulating GaAs from spin-on zinc silica film is investigated. The rapid thermal diffusion is performed for various diffusion times (5 to 25 sec) and temperatures (800° to 950° C) with tungstenhalogen lamps as the heat source. The sheet resistivity, surface hole concentration and mobility of these zinc diffused layers as measured by Van der Pauw technique shows the formation of shallow p+ layer. The surface morphology of these diffused layers are observed in a low voltage Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and the depth profile of diffused impurities are determined by Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS). Nonalloyed ohmic contacts are formed on these zinc diffused layers and the contact resistivity is determined by the Transmission Line Method (TLM).
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