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Structure and Conductance of the Breakdown Spot During the Early Stages of Progressive Breakdown

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6 Author(s)
Giovanni Condorelli ; Dept. of Res. & Dev., STMicroelectron., Catania ; Salvatore A. Lombardo ; Felix Palumbo ; Kin-Leong Pey
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It has been shown that under accelerated stress below ap4 V, thin gate oxides are subject to progressive breakdown (BD), i.e., a gradual growth of the BD spot up to a destructive BD. This paper investigates the conduction mechanisms of the BD spot during the early stages of progressive BD through the measurement of the I-V characteristics using carrier separation. It is shown that a model with no free parameter based on the concept of cotunneling provides a good evaluation of the post-BD current. This model implies a physical microstructure, and its plausibility is compared to direct transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations

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IEEE Transactions on Device and Materials Reliability  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 4 )