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The failure mechanisms of silicon nanowire field-effect transistors subject to electrostatic discharge (ESD) stresses are investigated using electrical characterization and microscopy analysis. Current-voltage measurements are carried out before and after the devices are stressed with ESD equivalent pulses generated from the transmission line pulsing (TLP) tester. Depending on the TLP stress level, either a soft or a hard failure can take place in the nanowire devices due to the nondestructive damage or destructive fusing of nanowires and the surrounding gate oxide.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2010