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Nonvolatile Memory With TiN Nanocrystals Three-Dimensionally Embedded in \hbox {Si}_{3}\hbox {N}_{4} Formed by Spinodal Phase Segregation

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6 Author(s)
Yung-Hsien Wu ; Dept. of Eng. & Syst. Sci., Nat. Tsing Hua Univ., Hsinchu ; Lun-Lun Chen ; Yuan-Sheng Lin ; Chia-Hsuan Chang
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In this letter, TiN nanocrystals three-dimensionally embedded in the Si3N4 formed by spinodal phase segregation was investigated as the discrete charge-trapping layer in a metal-oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon structure for nonvolatile-memory applications. TiN-nanocrystal formation was verified by X-ray diffraction analysis while the 3-D distribution of nanocrystals in the Si3N4 film was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy with the average size of 5.1 nm and a density of 9.8 × 1011cm-2. The promising memory performance was evidenced by the large memory window of 1.81 V with plusmn4-V program/erase voltage, the high operation speed of 1.52-V threshold-voltage shift by programming at +4 V for 10 ms, the negligible memory-window degradation up to 105 operation cycles, and 11% charge loss after ten-year operation. Most importantly, the charge-storage structure can be formed by a cosputtering approach which is simple and fully compatible with existent ultralarge scale integration technology.

Published in:

IEEE Electron Device Letters  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 6 )