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Quantum mechanical modeling of gate capacitance and gate current in tunnel dielectric stack structures for nonvolatile memory application

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5 Author(s)
Koh, B.H. ; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore, 4 Engineering Drive 3, Singapore 117576, Singapore ; Chim, W.K. ; Ng, T.H. ; Zheng, J.X.
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Multilayered dielectric stack structures, with a layered or crested potential profile, have been proposed for use as the tunnel dielectric of nonvolatile memories for fast low-voltage programming and longer charge retention. In this work, self-consistent quantum mechanical (QM) numerical calculations, using an in-house developed charge quantization simulation program, were conducted to analyze the gate tunneling current and capacitance of metal–insulator–semiconductor (MIS) devices with tunnel dielectric stack structures. The self-consistent QM simulator takes into account polysilicon depletion, quantization effects on the carrier density, and wave penetration effects. The gate current density–gate voltage (Jg–Vg) simulation uses a recursive method for calculating the transmission probability through the dielectric stack structure. The physical model was used to fit with capacitance–voltage and Jg–Vg measurements on MIS devices with different single-layer dielectric and multilayered dielectric stack structures. The simulation of the Jg–Vg characteristics of a layered-barrier structure of HfO2/Al2O3/HfO2, which can be potentially applied as the tunnel dielectric of nonvolatile memory devices, is also presented and compared with results from metal–oxide–semiconductor devices with a single layer of SiO2 or HfO2 as gate dielectric. It was found that the layered-barrier structure has the steepest Jg–Vg characteristics of the three structures with identical equivalent-oxide thickness. This results in a small ratio of progra- m voltage to retention voltage for the layered-barrier structure, which makes it attractive for nonvolatile memory application. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:95 ,  Issue: 9 )

Date of Publication:

May 2004

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