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A novel self-aligned highly reliable sidewall split-gate flash memory

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6 Author(s)

A self-aligned sidewall split-gate Flash memory cell is fabricated with overerase immunity. Particularly, the sidewall corner of the floating-gate is deliberately rounded to release the electric field lines encountered in the poly-to-poly erase. The unit cell size of 12.7 F2 (F is the feature size), formed in a 32-Mb NOR architecture, and the acceptable erase speed of 20 ms for block erase (512 K bits, 16 pages) are quite competitive. Endurance cycles up to 105 confirm the novel cell to be highly reliable as compared with the conventional source-side erase scheme. The bake experiment at 250°C before and after program/erase cycles indicates the cell not only free of extrinsic defects in the manufacturing process but also experiencing excellent retention characteristics. Disturb effects during the programming and read-out operations are examined in detail and the operating conditions for disturbs inhibition are readily determined. We eventually elaborate on the differences between the proposed cell structure and existing ones, as well as on the NAND architecture application.

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IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 3 )