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Cycling endurance of silicon–oxide–nitride–oxide–silicon nonvolatile memory stacks prepared with nitrided SiO2/Si(100) interfaces

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3 Author(s)
Habermehl, S. ; Sandia National Laboratories, P.O. Box 5800, M/S 1084 Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185 ; Nasby, R.D. ; Rightley, M.J.

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The effects of nitrided SiO2/Si(100) interfaces upon cycling endurance in silicon–oxide–nitride–oxide–silicon (SONOS) nonvolatile memory transistors are investigated. Analysis of metal–oxide–silicon field-effect transistor subthreshold characteristics indicate cycling degradation to be a manifestation of interface trap generation at the tunnel oxide/silicon interface. After 106 write/erase cycles, SONOS film stacks prepared with nitrided tunnel oxides exhibit enhanced cycling endurance over stacks prepared with non-nitrided tunnel oxides. If the capping oxide is formed by steam oxidation, rather than by deposition, SONOS stacks prepared with non-nitrided tunnel oxides exhibit endurance characteristics similar to stacks with nitrided tunnel oxides. For this case, a mechanism for latent nitridation of the tunnel oxide/silicon interface is proposed. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:75 ,  Issue: 8 )