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Radiation Effects in CMOS Isolation Oxides: Differences and Similarities With Thermal Oxides

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8 Author(s)

Radiation effects in thick isolation oxides of modern CMOS technologies are investigated using dedicated test structures designed using two commercial foundries. Shallow Trench Isolation and Pre-Metal Dielectric are studied using electrical measurements performed after X-ray irradiations and isochronal annealing cycles. This paper shows that trapping properties of such isolation oxides can strongly differ from those of traditional thermal oxides usually used to process the gate oxide of Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors. Buildup and annealing of both radiation-induced oxide-trap charge and radiation-induced interface traps are discussed as a function of the oxide type, foundry and bias condition during irradiation. Radiation-induced interface traps in such isolation oxides are shown to anneal below 100°C contrary to what is usually observed in thermal oxides. Implications for design hardening and radiation tests of CMOS Integrated Circuits are discussed.

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 4 )