This research and educational program will address the quantum-mechanical transport and storage of electrons and holes in ultra-thin, heteroinsulator nanostructures.The nanostructures are comprised of an oxide-nitride-oxide (ONO)gate dielectric.
This research focuses on the quantum-mechanical aspects of charge trapping in ultra-thin ONO dielectrics. This project will employ a combination of novel test structures,such as linear voltage ramp and charge pumping,o determine the spatial and energetic distribution of traps in the silicon nitride and oxynitride storage layers and in the Si-SiO 2 interfacial region on the opposite side of the tunnel oxide. A variation of material parameters to examine retention and endurance of scaled novel SONOS devices in the program (write) and erase modes as a function of operational temperature. This research addresses the incorporation of hydrogen and deuterium in the SONOS device to provide long-term retention under extensiveerase/write cycling at elevated temperatures; it will also address the effect of the gate electrode on the charge distribution and long-term memory retention. Advanced fabrication techniques are used to grow ultra-thin tunnel oxides and analytical characterization techniques, such as AFM,TEM and angle-resolved XPS are employed to analyze the spatial and compositional structure of these ultra-thin dielectrics. This research seeks to understand charge trapping and storage in ultra-thin multi-dielectrics in advanced semiconductor devices while offering a strong educational program and link to industrial partnerships.