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Dielectric breakdown of thin oxides during ramped current-temperature stress

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4 Author(s)
Fleetwood, D.M. ; Sandia Nat. Labs., Albuquerque, NM, USA ; Riewe, L.C. ; Winokur, Peter S. ; Sexton, F.W.

Dielectric breakdown in thin gate oxides is studied with a bias-temperature ramp technique. Research grade 6.5 nm oxides with Al gates show variable current-temperature (I-T) response with increasing electric field, consistent with a wide breakdown distribution at room temperature. Industrial grade 7.0 nm thermal and N2O-nitrided oxides show well-behaved I-T plots, consistent with narrower breakdown distributions at room temperature. In all cases, temperature-to-breakdown decreases with increasing electric field. Charge-to-breakdown QBD levels at elevated temperatures exceed values observed in previous work, especially for the 7 nm nitrided oxides. No significant effect of radiation exposure on high-field oxide conduction or breakdown is observed under positive, zero, or negative radiation bias for the thermal and nitrided oxides, up to 20 Mrad (SiO2). Detectable radiation induced leakage current is observed only for heavy-ion equivalent doses greater than 10 Mrad(SiO2). These results suggest that the long-term reliability of high quality gate oxides may not be significantly degraded by radiation exposure at levels typical of system operation

Published in:

Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 6 )