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The simultaneous improvement in the erase and retention characteristics in a TANOS (TaN-Al2O3-Si3N4-SiO2-Si) flash memory transistor by utilizing the band-engineered and compositionally graded SiNx trap layer is demonstrated. With the process optimizations, a > 4V memory window and excellent 150 degC 24-h retention (0.1-0.5 V charge loss) for a programmed DeltaVt = 4V with respect to the initial state are obtained. The band-engineered SiNx charge storage layer enables flash scaling beyond the floating-gate technology with a promise for improved erase speed, retention, lower supply voltages, and multilevel cell applications.
Date of Publication: March 2009